I recently read an article about why a standing desk may not be for everyone. Being a proponent of standing at your desk, I am always interested in hearing about different users’ experiences and challenges. Interestingly enough, I thought that the central point of his piece is totally correct: there are serious health risks to inactivity. That’s not just a key point for standing desks, but with ergonomics in general. While proper positioning and posture play very important roles, being static decreases blood flow, resulting in a myriad of health risks.
But I can’t help but feeling that people sometimes misunderstand how a standing desk should work. For example, the author built his desk for $22.00 worth of Ikea parts. It’s an impressive accomplishment, but he still fell into a common trap; instead of sitting all day, he tried standing all day. The problem is the execution. He built a pure standing desk, without the option to easily adjust back to a sitting position. A sit to stand desk solves these issues, providing a convenient way to eliminate inactivity. The point is to have different options available to suit your needs, not to pass an endurance test.
Here’s what I’m trying to say: sitting is like pizza. It’s not bad to have every once in a while, you just can’t eat it all the time (I know, it’s sad). Standing is like a garden salad, better for you in terms of increasing energy and cardiovascular movement, but hardly a complete meal. Just like you need to balance your diet, you also need to balance your movement while working. Sometimes I stand for long periods, other days not so much. Most of the time I have a good balance through out the day, but then there are some days when I am in a sitting coma and barely want to stand at all.
Everyone is different; there is not an exact science to what is the correct amount of time to stand or sit. That’s why a height-adjustable standing desk is such a great investment. With an adjustable desk, you have the freedom to choose what is right for you. As long as we try to keep in mind that more we move the better it is for us, we can all be healthier, making that delicious pizza/sitting all the better.
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