Chances are while reading this you are hunched over a tablet or phone, forming a human question mark with slouched shoulders and a protruding head. If it has not already, staying in this position will eventually cause pain by overtaxing the muscles in your neck and increasing pressure in your lower back. Standing desks have risen in popularity as a remedy to this ever-growing epidemic of poor sitting posture. But are they worth the hype?
Raise your desk, lower your pain
The short answer is yes. Sitting puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your spine, which if continued for long durations and with poor posture, can cause a variety of musculoskeletal issues. Prolonged sitting, for example, is a leading cause of neck and back pain (Kallings, 2021). Making simple postural adjustments, including changing your position, can decrease your pain significantly.
Standing desks, thus, benefit your back and neck by reducing the pressure these regions endure during a typical work day. Standing desks are not a cure-all for back and neck pain, but they can provide some much-needed relief. Although its study design had some limitations, the Take-a-Stand Project conducted by the CDC showed that standing desks reduced back and neck pain by more than 50 percent.
Elevate your mindset
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 take a stand
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 30-60 minutes per day. Gradually increase your standing time as your body acclimates and can tolerate more vertical time 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.