Traditional Desks vs. Standing Desks

April 29, 2021

Showing the pros and cons of standing vs. sitting desks

As working individuals, we face a hectic itinerary of work for most days of the week. This entails large bulks of time spent in front of the computer, stress out, and fatigued by the end of the day. But at the same time, we need to take care and make sure that amount of work is not affecting our health.

But do standing desks are really beneficial for you?

To stand or not to stand? That is the question.

Standing desks are getting popular in the belief that during work, it is better to stand than sit for a long duration of time. Some studies have shown that standing for six hours a day instead of sitting not only prevents weight gain, it can also help people reduce pounds.


Here are some of the Standing Desks benefits:

1. It increases attention, focus, and productivity:

  • Standing helps to keep your attention level high and have more active blood circulation and the brain more alert and active.

  • When sitting for a prolonged period of time, the brain gets tired easily and hence you tend to feel sleepy.

  • When standing, the person won’t get drowsy because the brain is constantly telling the body to get the work done. Hence, more work is done.

2. Faster metabolism:

  • Standing desks can give the user more muscular activity and a faster metabolism.

  • As our body burns up more calories while standing. Rather than sitting in the same position. 

  • When sitting for a long period of time, the body goes into a catatonic state where it stops making the chemicals and enzymes needed in digesting food and breaking down the food into sugars and fats.

  • These are accumulated as unused fats which get stuck in the body. This will eventually cause future health problems such as obesity, poor blood circulation, and more serious health problems such as arthritis and arterial plaque.

3. Better posture and no more back pain:

  • Standing desks are good for correcting the person’s posture. Sitting too much for a long period of time is uncomfortable and stresses the muscles of our lower back muscles.

  • Eventually, the stress will turn into aches and lead to other complications such as backaches, shoulder pains, and stiff necks.

  • Standing reduces these symptoms while keeping the back muscles straight. It has proven that standing can minimize aches and stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

4. Communication:

  • Standing desk users can communicate easily with their colleagues while moving freely and make direct eye contact while doing work.

  • The downside to this is the lack of privacy that they receive since other employees in their respective cubicles can easily be seen.

5. Reduced risk of obesity:

  • It’s been proven that people who use standing desks can have less chance of being obese compared to people who sit doing their work.

  • There are also metabolic changes within the body when standing since the employees are more active.

6. Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases:

  • Adults who are sitting for more than 2 hours during work increase their risk by 125% of cardiovascular disease. This comes in the form of chest pains and heart attacks.

  • Even when getting limited exercise, it will significantly reduce the risk of cardiac attacks as that of standing desk users.

7. Reduced risk of cancer:

  • A new research study shows that standing can reduce people getting cancer. The verdict is still out that scientists cannot find the link between excessive hours of sitting and cancerous cells. However, it was found out that standing can stop producing C-reactive proteins in the body. This is believed to cause many types of cancer found in excess within the body.

Cons of Standing Desks:

1. Sore feet

  • If using standing desks for the first time, there will be sore feet and aching joints at the start. These are completely normal. It will take some time for the body to adapt to standing up while working.

  • Once accustomed to standing, it will be easy to use the standing desks and won’t develop any more sores or aches.

Wearing comfortable shoes:

  • While standing for a long period of time, don’t use high heels. Wear instead more comfortable shoes like flats or footwear with comfortable soles. Using gel inserts or standing mats is a good idea.

  • It all comes down to whatever is comfortable to the user. This is just a minor drawback of using standing desks.

2. Not suitable for laptop users:

  • If the space between the laptop won’t fit the space between the user’s elbows and eyes, it will make some discomfort to the user. It will cause stress to the neck and shoulders.

  • Using an adjustable standing desk or widescreen for the laptop to your eye level can solve this

Form is everything:

  • Getting the proper adjustment for a standing desk needs proper alignment of both workspace and the body.

  • If not done right, it can do more harm than good for your comfort.  Make the workspace highly ergonomically efficient and tell the employees how to be in proper posture.

3. Cost

  • The cost of upgrading a desk can be very high. The user will have to modify the work area to make it suitable for standing. Or using a standing desk converter to reduce costs.


Using Traditional Desks

Many offices all over the world are still using traditional desks or sitting desks for their employees. And many employees do prefer sitting rather than standing all day.

Pros of Traditional Desks:

1. Cost and Convenience

  • Most offices have a chair and a seated desk. This saves money and gets the job done most of the time.

  • Standing desks cost a lot of money since the company has to buy special standing desks, ergonomic keyboards, a computer mouse, adjustable stands for laptops, a standing desk converter, balancing balls for feet, standing mats, etc.

2. Dilemma

The human body is not equipped to sit for a prolonged period of time. The exception here are individuals having health problems such as pregnant women and other physical and health limitations like varicose veins, arthritis, and slip joints.

3. Recovery:

Sitting can help people recover from a muscle tear or any other injury to the body. Sitting keeps the body feel more relaxed and quickens the healing of the muscles.

Cons of Traditional Desks:

Health issues:

  • Long hours of continuous sitting can lead to health problems. Additionally, sitting in an improper position causes muscle stiffness and diseases like spondylosis and carpals tunnel syndrome.

  • Discomforts such as muscle stiffness can be eliminated by using ergonomic methods


Standing Desks or Traditional Desks: Which is Better?

Scientists believe that doing both standing and sitting at work is the best method to simulate the natural movement of the human body. Stand up every 20 minutes when sitting doing some work.

Take breaks and do stretches to relieve the body and muscles and to increase blood circulation. This can counteract any harmful effects of sitting too long. Standing too long can also cause health problems like fatigue and stress. Most workers try to combine sit and stand desks.

These desks are a hybrid between the standing and sitting desks. They are adjustable and can transform from a seated traditional desk to a mobile standing desk.


The Theodore Standing Desk-48" W is an excellent example of this hybrid. They can be purchased at Flexispot.com


Another method is shifting the workplace after doing a certain work. Referred to as the workstation popcorn. After completing work, the workers move their work to another surrounding like a park or a café. Moving while shifting from one place to another burns a lot of calories and consider as a small walk. They can shift their workplaces several times a day and can provide the employee many chances to finish the job.


Conclusion:

Now you’ve seen the pros and cons of standing and traditional desks. Ultimately, it is the employees who decide which desks are best for them.

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