While reading this, are you hunched over a screen, forming a human question mark with your back, shoulders, and head? If so, staying in this position will eventually cause pain by stressing the muscles in your neck and putting pressure on your lower back. Standing desks have risen in popularity as a remedy to this growing epidemic of poor sitting posture. But are they worth the hype?
Lower your pain
The short answer is yes. Sitting puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your spine, which if continued for long periods of time with poor posture, can cause a variety of muscle and joint issues. Prolonged sitting, for example, is a leading cause of neck and back pain (Kallings, 2021).
Making simple adjustments in the way you sit, including changing your position, can greatly lower your pain. Standing desks help by reducing the pressure your back and neck absorb during a typical work day. They are not a cure-all for back and neck pain, but they can provide some much-needed relief. The Take-a-Stand Project conducted by the CDC, for example, showed that standing desks reduced back and neck pain by more than 50 percent (CDC, 2012).
Brighten your mood
As an added bonus, in addition to raising a person’s vertical height, the Take-a-Stand Project found that standing desks boosted mood levels, too (Pronk, 2011).
How to switch to a standing desk
If you are considering making a switch, the key to transitioning to a standing desk is to do it slowly. If you suddenly go from sitting to standing all day, you may develop back, leg, or foot pain. It is better to ease into the change by starting with 30 to 60 minutes per day. Gradually increase your standing time as your body as tolerated without increased pain.
If a standing desk is not in your budget, try a DIY-version by propping up your computer and keyboard with books or a stool. This is a budget-friendly way to try a standing desk and decide if it fits into your daily lifestyle.
If you suffer from back pain, working with a physical therapist and an integrative care team like the practitioners at Vori Health can help uncover the root cause of your discomfort. Learn more about personalized treatment plans that put you in position to own your health.