Will a standing desk make you healthier? Maybe.
Over the years, I’ve had too much experience standing at work. In college, I didn’t call it a “standing desk”, though. At the 7-11 I called it “the cash register”, and at the furniture factory it was”the shaper machine”. At the photo lab after graduation, where I made prints for commercial photographers, I called it “the enlarging table”. At the newspaper it was “the light table”, and for many years (first cameras, then computers,) a “repair bench”.
So I’ve stood on these legs at work for decades, but still had plenty of health problems. Most were due to manufacturer defect, but the varicose veins in the picture at right most likely resulted directly from standing.
This photo is Black & White for a reason; even I don’t like looking at them. Not only are they unsightly, but they hurt.
I have a hunch that some people who stand for a living are prone to a sort of “collapse syndrome” when they retire. They’ll just sit, and sit, until it kills them. Unless they don’t, because other people really start exercising late in life.
Standing desks are probably, in some ways, better than sitting ones. But everything I’ve read says that moving is better than not moving. Should you get a treadmill desk, then? I just don’t know. Will your keyboard and and mouse and monitor move around too? The solution to working with non-moving glowing rectangles, while maintaining the health of a body that spent a million years evolving to move, probably hasn’t been solved yet.
- Discuss this post on G+, Facebook, or Twitter
- Mayo Clinic: The risks of sitting too much
- Yes, I am aware there are surgical treatments for varicose veins. Someday I might go that route, but I hate surgery a lot.
- Washington Post: Standing up at your desk may energize you, but may also be tough on your legs (I appreciate a headline that really summarizes the article! But they didn’t mention that excessive sitting can also cause varicose veins. Legs are… actually made for walking.
- Fast Company Design: Everything science knows right now about standing desks. (Reassurance for managers who worry that productivity – the important thing, for them, because never mind your health – could suffer)
- Lifehacker: Why I killed my standing desk, and what I do instead. (Good stretching advice)
- I for one welcome our Robot Desk Overlords.