Imagine Jules. Jules likes to put her laptop on the counter and work standing for an hour after lunch, while having her coffee. ...helps her digestion, or neck or something..
Personally, I like standing and/or walking while working too. I think better, it feels like. I like walking meetings, especially if we're going to be scheming.
Anyway... Jules has a laptop, a counter and she can stand if she likes.
The problem (with problems) is that we^ can't live with "Jules likes X." X must be a universal truth, transformational but as yet undiscovered... something worthy of TedX.
In comes corporate and bureaucratic fact-finding, maybe some pseudo-science. Occasionally actual science weighs in, but those assholes always seem to hedge with fancy "maybes" and "more studies required." So, we create some corporate truth, a way for Jules to stand up with official, legible backing.
It's the same HN debate we keep having about open offices. We can't keep it at "I like/dislike this thing," thing must be quantifiably better.
Not all the decisions we make are factual.
^We means: HN, HR, OHS, furniture manufacturers, ergonomics auditors, techchrunch...
That makes sitting all day unhealthy for me. And I know a lot of people who fidget like this! When I stand, I actually have to align my body correctly so that I can, you know, stand up. My core does work, my legs do work, I'm not standing on one foot or slouching because that's harder when you're standing.
I could learn to have perfect posture, but I'm 43, it's not cheap to teach an old dog new tricks. A standing desk is a great investment for me.
On the other hand, my co-worker both has perfect posture at their desk and also has bad knees. A standing desk would be more problematic for them. A quality, expensive chair (almost as expensive as my standing desk!) is a great investment there.
As you say, why are we always looking for the one way to do things? Even if things are factual, there's no reason that the same experience is factually best for all people. Factually, a standing desk is great for me. Factually, it's not great for my co-worker.
Also, maybe it's all in my head, I don't get that "afternoon drowsiness" at all since I started standing up after lunch instead of eating and then sitting in a comfy chair.
A friend who is a USMC veteran used to tell me that standard procedure in a briefing was: if you're tired, go stand up in the back. Super hard to fall asleep standing up. I bet there's a big chunk of that here.
I justified it by saying, "We pay this individual over $100,000 a year, they are key to the following efforts, and the chair will last them for their entire career with the company. Not to mention it costs about 1% what we paid the recruiter who brought this person to us."
I made a similar argument at IBM (which got me into some trouble) which was that revenue per employee was up significantly from the period when everyone had an office, so why not have an office with some offices, some cubes, and some open space and let people work in the space where they are most productive? Total cost per employee was still going to be a lot less relative to their revenue generation than it had been in the past.
Too often people focus too closely on the one time costs and not the overall expense.
Admitting that the workers might know anything better than the management, even about their own preferences, is disruptive to this concept.
My previous supervisor (current coworker) was/is excellent about this. Yeah, of course the actual data will be front and center in the decisionmaking process, but he always makes a point to actually validate that data (through hands-on / direct observation or through his direct reports), knowing full well that there's no such thing as perfect data (there's always a missing metric or an unreliable source somewhere).
More importantly, he's willing to put himself behind his decisions, and always encouraged the rest of us to do the same for our own direct reports (and while I don't and didn't have any, I still took his lessons to heart): if you need to rely on / appeal to external sources of authority (be they higher-ups, data, "corporate policy", etc.) to assert your own authority, then your own authority is illusory, at best. By all means explain your reasoning, of course ("transparency is a dependency of trust" applies to any kind of computational system, including the kind that sits between our ears), but it should be clear that it's your reasoning, not someone (or something) else's.
> Research, however, suggests that warnings about sitting at work are overblown, and that standing desks are overrated as a way to improve health.
Who cares what research says. If someone says it helps them and they prefer it to sitting, that is enough proof for me.
> Sit-stand desks are not exactly inexpensive, but like many things in life, they’re fine if you like them. And if it helps alleviate some back and neck pain, so much the better. It’s just that most people probably don’t need them.
What more committed stance would you like the author to take? Since there are limited health benefits, nobody should ever use a standing desk?
The only point that I could get out of it, is that standing is not exercise. I don't know anybody who bought a standing desk thinking they are getting exercise...
In some select cases it can help with some select problems, but it is not objectively "good for you" nor "healthy." In fact, the study in question found that too much standing is in fact "bad for you"!
It really is a commonly held belief that standing desks are "healthier" than non-standing desks. Perhaps you don't value knowledge of this sort, but I certainly do.
You can sit at a standing desk. Even if it's not a mechanical one, you can sit in a taller chair. You don't have to stand all day.
You can't stand up at a sitting desk unless you get a Varidesk or something. But then you have a standing desk.
You even say yourself that a standing desk can help with some select problems. What select problems does a sitting desk solve that can't be solved by sitting at a standing desk? If one helps with some problems, and one doesn't, which is the better option?
And let's not downplay the "select" problems that it helps with. Mainly back pain, nerve problems and posture issues. These are not small, trivial problems for a lot of people.
Many of his articles could be summed up as: "No, XYZ is not the (best|worst) thing ever. (Eat|do|use) it if you want, in moderation, and don't worry too much about it. Except exercise. Do that."
Ia typical efficiency style of BigCo, some departments in our company have very nice expensive top-of-the-line sit/stand desks issued to everybody and most of the people there never use them for standing, while in other departments like ours one can't get it even after passing through the gauntlet of ergonomic forms and assessments - at the end it happens that they don't have a model suitable, whatever it means, to the office space we're in.
It's like the bit about open-plan offices. Management knows they're shit and you can't get work done in them. That's why they have offices of their own. You have to live with them as part of "paying your dues". And because it's an affordable panopticon.
Turns out that the company had a policy for the type of desk and chairs people could have. Senior scientists (mostly PhDs) got nice chairs and large desks. The technicians called them the "tunas". The technicians in the lab often had to share desks and had inexpensive chairs. They referred to themselves as "sardines". The BS/MS folks had medium size desks and and so were called "sartun". Mystery solved.
The good news is that after a few years management discovered that ergonomic/repetitive stress injuries increased medical problems and absences. Management instituted individual ergonomic assessments and provided desk/chairs matched to the individual's needs and it made work much better and reduced repetitive stress injuries.
not exactly. It is just "nicer" departments like legal, etc and more important/cool/key projects as the top management see.
>It's like the bit about open-plan offices. Management knows they're shit and you can't get work done in them. That's why they have offices of their own.
oh yes! The most fresh hot-off-the-pan "open" office plans that we've recently got don't repeat a foolish mistake of the open office plans they implemented just a few years ago - the few years ago they put everybody including directors (and sometimes even low ranking VPs) in the "open", while now it is like the old typical cubicle farm where cubicle space for plebs was surrounded by private offices for managers, etc. - only minus actual cubicles (for better inter-plebs collaboration and communication :). Full panopticon for the plebs.
"Research, however, suggests that warnings about smoking are overblown, and that not smoking is an overrated way of improving health."
Everything that we call science today was once alternately laughable or mysterious.
Only after things have been repeatedly tested, and alternative explanations thoroughly ruled out, can a claim be considered accurate. Everything was once alternately laughable or mysterious, until it was thoroughly proven to be true. There is a reason why we aren't letting your blood because you have a cold anymore.
While it's good for society to find and recommend things that are beneficial to most people, we shouldn't prevent people from doing the things that they find helpful.
My employer wins because I spend less time thinking about whether I would benefit from a sit/stand desk...at the very least. I suspect I get a real productivity advantage from it at times.
Another reason this is comparing apples to oranges is the potential downside risk given the difference in unknowns. Again, what is the downside risk of standing instead of sitting? Maybe sore feet, maybe a sore back, you'll know when you try it. What is the downside risk of treating your cancer with homeopathy? Maybe it doesn't work and you die. Not even in the same ball park.
When these things are in the same ball park: we know the risks involved and the risks are small. Under these circumstances, my argument stands: if someone likes taking homeopathy remedies when they get a cold and it is not a financial burden on them, who cares what they do. The only risk is having this same attitude toward homeopathy regardless of the ailment you are treating and then people start dying.
I've no desire to sit or stand.
Dell XPS running Debian works fine in this environment.
Unfortunately, office can't provide me this. So i am working remotely now.
My brain is lot less efficient in other environment probably because I've high amount of North European genetic material and my brain is most efficient in low temperature, maybe there is some evolutionary reason behind this.
This mechanism for which you speak is known as "placebo"
Imagine how ridiculous discourse would be if we couldn't make a claim without enumerating every single possible exception, or if every claim had to be prefixed with "there are exceptions, but."
Absolutely insufferable. Almost wish there was an HN guideline "don't respond to someone's general claim by attacking a single exception" so we can respond to those comments with the same level of banality.
I don't think that's ridiculous. Why not? People shouldn't be making trash general claims - now you say "don't point out exceptions"? so what's such a claim worth?
The main problem is that in order to claim something is "overrated", you have to have some idea of the "rating."
So perhaps most of the other commenters were enlightened and knew exactly what the benefits were.
Not me. Like (perhaps) the author, I thought sitting is really, really bad for you: for your heart, for your long term mobility, for your health. And that standing will alleviate these issues.
Under my model, it wasn't just that moving was good and not moving was bad. I thought that specifically sitting was the worst form of non-movement (over lying down and standing).
I can't tell you where I got this but I had read a lot of "sitting is the new smoking" type articles.
Now this author tells me that is not the case, and there was no proof of it being the case.
This is news to me. I had the correct "rating" for this article and it turns out I had "overrated" standing desks.
If you already know all this, then of course it was not "overrated" for you.
If you accept the premise, the headline and conclusion makes sense. Standing ISN'T a replacement for exercise. There are ways to stand that will cause independent medical issues in joints.
But, like you, I'm also dubious of the premise. While standing (or actually adjustable) desks are all the rage, I don't see an obsession over the concept approaching other overrated cults like crossfit, or keto.
The title of this post and the the title of the article are not justified. The author's take-home in the final paragraph is that standing is not exercise, but standing desks may help those with back or neck pain and some people just prefer it. So, really, there's no evidence here to support the "Overrated" claim in the headline.
Like every post I see on standing desks, or anything with a controversial/contentious set of studies/proponents, each writer can select whichever set of studies from the vast array that conforms to their viewpoint. Those studies that disagree with the final conclusion? Better point out potential confounders, non-causal links, selection bias, etc. Drag out the usual methodological suspects to invalidate an opinion you don't agree with. It's easy to straw-man, though it's also easy to go to the discussion and just copy the authors' own assessment of their studys' weaknesses.
This happens all the time in science like epidemiology, you're not an epidemiologist if you haven't made a dozen complaints about an article's methods before considering its ramifications. Even Einstein - despite the evidence to the contrary, he could not accept some of the quantum-mechanical conclusions that his work helped bring about.
The author is not claiming to be a subject matter expert. The fact that they are a pediatrician is irrelevant. Their argument is well sourced, and "even" a pediatrician is able to read and understand papers in adjacent medical fields.
Dr Carroll is also known for the Healthcare Triage YouTube channel, which has numerous video explainers on topics like how to critically evaluate the strength of studies, the dangers of cherry-picking data, etc.
If it matters, my back pain largely went away when I switched to working while standing for three or four hours a day.
 E.g., http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=3740
In fact, there was no difference in BMI reported between the standard condition and the intervention designed to decrease sitting time.
I don't know this literature much, but a separate analysis of the same study may show improved cardiometabolic risk profiles in workers who are encouraged to stand more often.
> Life years (LY) gained is a measure in health economics. It expresses the additional number of years of life that a person lives as a result of receiving a treatment.
And a 1% increase in LY after a 12 month intervention isn't a silver bullet, but it's nothing to sneeze at.
I still use the standing desk every now and then, but after seeing some recommendations I ended up getting a Bungee chair from The Container Store and it's really solved all of the issues that drove me to a standing desk in the first place with a reasonable price point.
I'm trying to start a habit of raising the desk before leaving for lunch, and before leaving at the end of the day.
I bought the Ikea sit-stand desk for home, since I find I waste less time at the computer if I don't sit in front of it.
We shouldn’t be so used to headlines not matching up with article content, but then again, it’s 2018.
He even provides an alternate hypothesis, that 'sitting' is a marker of poor health decisions not the cause of it.
I'm not sure what evidence you are looking for?
I've never actually seen a standing desk advertised, or even recommended, as a tool for improving cardiovascular health. So I don't see how they can be "rated" as such.
I use a standing desk sometimes because it breaks up the monotony of sitting, and because sometimes I want to stretch my legs. It does well in that regard, and that's what I see them being advertised for.
"Why you shouldn't work remotely". "Why you shouldn't drink coffee". "Why you should drink coffee". "Vaping is better than cigarettes". "Vaping worse than cigarettes".
It's a never ending assembly line of garbage because they need to push out garbage every day.
"Publish or perish" has ruined academia, much of science and the media.
Also, anything can be "overrated". It is a subjective term. The article doesn't tell us anything of any value. What did we learn? Someone thinks standing desks are overrated. Okay. Who cares? Is that worthy of an article in the nytimes?
This past year I've started to get problems with my legs caused by sitting. Exercise relieves it, but the aches return when I sit down again. I just spend too much time sitting down (I work remotely as a programmer, and I'm also a musician). Swapping to alternating sitting/standing makes a big difference in this regard, and I had hoped to get a new desk 6 months ago, but due to house purchase trouble (and the fact my flat is too small to swap out this desk); I'm still stuck at my current desk. Hopefully it won't be too much longer now; I do worry what permanent damage is happening. Sit/stand desks have an added bonus of letting you adjust the height of the desk when sat down, which makes a big difference.
Chair choice is a big part of it. I do think pretty much all office chairs are designed wrong, in that they have a solid base and a cushion on top. Once you bottom-out (hurr) the cushion, you're sat on a hard surface, and that's most likely part of my issue. Aeron chairs are good in this regard, in that they're a suspended mesh with no hard surface underneath.
I quite like sitting on the floor as well, and I'm hoping to accommodate for that in my office design for my house. I think a wider variety of positions could only help to spread the strain.
The only downside is if you want to switch between sitting and standing, but frankly it's easier to just use a laptop for sitting for a little while until you get used to standing for longer.
And as far as a criticism of it being "wobbly" -- i've seen automobiles perched on top of plastic milk-bottle crates. Not that I'd recommend it, but surely one will safely hold a relatively breezy laptop and a monitor (15kg total?)
Amazon even sells a multi-level cardboard standing desk for $25 that's perhaps a touch more attractive than a milk crate: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Ergodriven-Perfect-Standing-Med...
So give it a try. See if a more neutral head-up posture and straight spine are agreeable. If so, consider an upgrade to a "real" standing desk. If not, no real risk or loss.
It's slightly wobbly at max height, but otherwise not bad.
Not directly, but part of their popularity does seem to be a response to studies showing that exercise doesn't offset sitting. There were a few pretty convincing results in a row concluding that extended sitting is harmful in itself, regardless of exercise frequency. Given that many other studies show extended standing is also bad, I think the question worth investigating here is whether position changes offset that or whether interspersing actual movement is required. (More speculatively, a major leg-bouncing habit or an 'active' base for sitting or standing might help.)
> Sit/stand desks have an added bonus of letting you adjust the height of the desk when sat down, which makes a big difference.
This is reason enough for me to value a sit/stand desk - even if I never stand up, the ergonomics of controlling desk height are a huge benefit. Guides to adjusting chair height for that are fine, but I want to adjust my chair relative to the floor so that my feet lie flat, then my desk to my chair. (And then, ideally, my monitor and keyboard separately also).
I agree that bad chairs are almost certainly a big factor, in the ways you describe. Circulation issues and back pain are two of the biggest issues with sitting, and they match up to pressure from the chair bottom and poor lumbar support. In addition to the padding issue you mentioned, chairs with back support are usually worse for me, because the back support is often fixed in place and only correct for people of one specific height. Either getting a high quality chair or being able to change positions often seem like the most obvious improvements.
Have you considered a standing desk converter for your existing desk (e.g. from Varidesk, though there are quite a few other vendors out there with more reasonable pricing)? It's made a huge difference for me in some situations where the existing desk could not be swapped out.
When I wanted to try a standing desk, I just put my desk on some breezeblocks...
I do some version of the above before every weight workout (so almost every day). And, I'll do some other version randomly throughout the day when I need a break.
I don't get how we always go back to debating the medical merits of this, when why don't we just worry about what makes the employee more comfortable? Expense wise, an average standing desk isn't terribly more expensive than a normal desk OR some of the chairs companies are buying for people to be more ergonomic.
I'm getting more active, but still not great yet. Good to know it's something that flexes with activity.
As with most things physiological, the system is a balancing act with a lot of independent variables that need to be taken into account. If you eat two meals of 800-1k calories each, and you don't work out, a gallon of water a day is probably way too much. You may be mildly dehydrated but you'll feel just as bad flushing out the electrolytes as you mentioned. But if you're working out consistently, building muscle, and eating 3k-4k calories a day to support that level of activity, 180-200 ounces of water a day is nothing.
Many of the responses here call into question the article's apparent position, especially as regards its inflammatory title, and these responses reflect my own opinion and experience.
I expressed my objections as a comment to the article, reproduced here for convenience. 
> I've been a long distance runner all my life, hovering at a 7:30 pace. In my mid 40s I began getting pain in my legs while running. Increasingly, I could not run more than 3 miles at a time without injuring. My pace went to 8:30 or slower.
> Almost 2 years ago, I went to physical therapy and my doctor prescribed a standing desk. 1 hour standing; 1 hour sitting.
> Part of the problem according to my doctor is that my legs were tightening while sitting. Intermittently standing and stretching was not enough to offset what sitting was doing to my leg and back muscles.
> Since receiving a standing accessory at work and acquiring a motorized desk at home, my injuries have disappeared.
> Of course the stretching exercises I continue to do as directed by my physical therapist help. But stretching by itself did not work as I grew older.
> The combination of stretching exercise and alternating standing and sitting afforded by a standing desk has helped me recover from my injuries.
> My running pace has hit 7:20 and declining.
> Dismissing the potential benefit of standing desk as an expensive luxury is about as advisable as dismissing a doctor's visit as unnecessary use of health care.
The article you posted shows that a standing desk can help ergonomic issues, it doesn't mention cardiovascular health.
My point is that for me the two are interlinked.
I could not run due to musculoskeletal issues from sitting. Being able to alternate between standing and sitting addressed these issues and allowed me to resume (improve) my running.
I don’t have enough expertise to evaluate if the studies cited by the author account for the relatonship between ergonomics (musculoskeletal effects) and cardiovascular health, but I do believe in my specific case the two are inextricably linked.
My doctor suggested I use a treadmill desk after I had a bad episode of nerve pinch in my back and sciatica during a crunch time. I bought one and loved it. There were some minor practical issues using it at work, but none related to over-walking or anything like that. Personally, I doubt it's possible to over-walk at work with a treadmill desk, like the author of the article implied.
I'm a runner as well, and I've tried a standing desk (as opposed to a walking desk) a few times, and while some people love it, my feet start to hurt very quickly when I just stand (after 10-15 minutes). Even if I use running shoes and a soft standing mat, and even if I shift my feet & weight a lot (or not). I don't have that problem at all while walking at a treadmill desk.
I don't know if this is the replication crisis rearing it's head or not, but being a casual observer of research is too much of a roller coaster for me to try to "optimize" my life based on the latest findings.
In reality, it seems there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to a general guide to live well: try to get a good night's sleep, abstain from drugs if you can, eat healthy foods while maintaining a slight calorie defecit, and get some exercise every once in a while. Outside of that it seems like you're playing with margins.
I literally haven't sat in an office chair for longer than 20 mins for the last 12 weeks and my back is so much for the better.
I've honestly never understood the standing desk thing. I mean if it alleviates back pain or just makes you happy, sure. Why not?
It's not a given that everyone suffers back or neck pain from sitting though.
So maybe you experience back pain but not everyone does.
I just find it disconcerting that the New York Times publishes an article like this, without any acknowledgement that it has been pushing a different conclusion for the past eight years. I get that that this article is from a different author, but when people go to the New York Times, they are usually trusting the overall institution and editorial controls more than the byline. I also get that new studies comes in and the evidence changes -- but that still requires some sort of acknowledgement that they were wrong before.
Both seem to keep my body/mind tense - which is at odds with the deep focusing/relaxation I need for working on creative solutions for long stretches of time.
Very recently I discovered the wonders of beanbags, reclinable armchairs, and so on. I might even try a hammock one day. All these mix well with wireless keyboard/trackpad + a projector.
Looking forward to build my next-gen home office in this style (current sofa/projector combo is just me squatting the office event room).
Can't help sadly, generally computers will leave me well awake for at least a couple hours since the moment I'm done.
I was expecting a more extreme conclusion than:
- Sitting all day isn't great, but just sitting won't kill you
- Standing all day isn't great, but just standing won't kill you
- Standing isn't exercise
- As long as you exercise and take breaks during the work day, it doesn't really matter if you sit or stand
Ooof, apparently no one wants sweaty and loud coworkers.
I alternate between sitting and standing every hour or so, combined with small walks around office between shifting positions (say to the cafeteria or washroom or the game room). When I get off my desk, I make it a point to focus on some point far away to ensure my eyes get a break from simply staring at a screen 2 feet away from me.
Combining this along with ensuring I consume enough water through the course of the day (in AC environments, a very common cause of headaches/neckaches is simply dehydration) means I can ensure that I get to operate productively through the day.
Don't see why people get so paranoid about having to be in a single position for 8 hours a day. The human body simply ain't made for that!
Having used a height adjustable desk some years ago I'd sort of written them off. I can't use one all day on its own, I find the blood just pools in my legs after a while and I just want to sit down.
Equally though I've also suffered sciatica in the past which I attribute to sitting for hours and hour before a log commute driving. It was agony. So to break things up I've got my own treadmill desk for my home office.
I'm walking right now as I type this. I can feel that my heart rate is definitely slightly raised but not so much I"m likely to start sweating. All in all seems pretty good so far.
Buy yoga pants (lulu mens pants look good enough that I wear them for almost everything), take off your shoes, and sit like you used to sit when you were a kid: Sit cross legged, sit on your legs, sit 'normally', and let yourself move around and change positions and fidget naturally.
Over time I have found this much more intuitively comfortable than a sitting or standing desk, and being able to fidget more easily helps me think, just like going for walks helps me think. Point being: try stuff out! Maybe you'll find something more comfortable than the status quo, faddish or not.
These chairs have helped with my leg and foot numbness/cold issues. I couldn't imagine working at a standing desk on days when my energy isn't 100% - which as a father and business owner is like ... every day.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with Gaiam - but given how many clients ask about my chair ... I should!
As for health, like the article says, the most important things are keep up a good diet (eat just enough, eat as many whole foods as possible, vary what you eat) and exercise.
I also would like to recommend https://fluidstance.com/ which is a board that wobbles to go with a standing desk. This has further improved the benefits to my back and general alertness while working.
When on-boarding in my first regular job, we received a couple of hours training in how to adjust you chair from the health-and-safety manager.
Fantastic training, him spinning around a chair showing how everything can be adapted, optimal eye, leg, waist, elbow height, the company gym instructor visiting demonstrating cases of how necks can get bent forward just by looking at a screen for a couple of years, the company doctor telling stories of the results of not complaining about feeling uncomfortable, and the lawyer telling us that this advice is useful coz we're giving it to you now, don't forget it.
I've worked in a lot of other places since. Some have been more haphazard/freedom-giving in implementing a comfortable desk and I'm a fan of that: Put a stack of paper under the monitor. Have a footrest instead of adjusting the chair. Bring in a fishtank and have some (real) fish (not a screensaver) swimming past you while you work, go to the gym for an hour when there aren't meetings, lots of plants, do a standing desk on empty paper boxes, bring a camping bed to store under your desk and take a nap after lunch on it. Pretty free workspaces.
What I've seen work, and not work, and work better, and this is complete anecdote: Colleagues that have the training to have been informed of best practices, and have an idea of the optimal 'springiness' setting to set their chair to have fun with their chair have freedom with their chair. Companies that do that then then also allow their employees to choose how to setup their environment are more productive, committed and a lot happier.
Open-office environments are actually OK for this. But not hot-desking ones. Feeding your fish is 2-3 minutes of not staring at a screen or typing, refreshment. Knowing the cleaner will throwaway a present for a colleague if you're not cleaned your desk in the evening is a prison. Having plenty of small meeting rooms available can provide peace and privacy.
And a quick nap on a colleague's borrowed camping bed when you're in for a long day, is bliss.
Standing desks don't cure cancer, they don't stop baldness, and they won't do anything for your allergies either, I'm shocked they didn't include these as reasons standing desks are "overrated".
One thing I notice though is that folks often push very expensive powered desks that are not necessary. I've been using a relatively cheap drafting table and tall chair with armrests for years and think it is a great way to go. One can stand or sit during the day according to need.
I stand 6-8 hours a day. so do most of my coworkers. Simple observation of a chubby mechanic or a fat construction worker will tell you that the "standing desks are healthier" line is complete bullshit.
The jury is still out, but subjectively, switching to a standing desk at least a few times a week really helped my posture and back.
Here's some brand-new research based on 1000 people wearing accelerometers 24/7: http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_isbn_978-952-61-2928-0/i...
Sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus
"From the accelerometer-derived parameters of SB [sedentary behaviour], a higher number of daily SB bouts lasting over 10 minutes was the strongest predictor of a high CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk."
Yeah and how do many people get to having back and neck pain? From sitting all day! Talk to any spine specialist and they'll tell you that. Since I switched to standing most of the day my pain is definitely reduced, and I know I'm burning more calories because I often incorporate more movements than I would typically do sitting. I stretch more often, do a yoga position, whatever, the point is that incorporating movement is much more likely when you're already standing.
Increased cognitive ability is another benefit, due to the increased blood flow.
I think alternating is great, its what i tend to do.
2) This is even more out there and suspicious claim. Varicose veins form out of impaired blood flow, not improved.
3) Do you mean situps? I heard they are an actual exercise.
This isn't a simple solution: our bodies are meant to move, and extended sitting or standing isn't natural.
Nobody is under the illusion that standing is exercise. What a pointless article.
I really think this comment section is just people reading the article as "Standing desks are bad" and posting any positive thing about standing desks.
The article is, "Standing desks, by themselves, (no treadmill), provide no cardiovascular benefit. In terms of cardiovascular health, sitting maybe a marker not a cause."
That is, people who sit 12 hours a day on average, typically don't exercise and have poor cardio health. Simply standing instead of sitting won't help that, you have to exercise.
standing or walking for more than six hours a day at work was associated with a doubled or tripled risk of needing surgery
Note that it's 6 hours of standing! Also, important to remember that these are correlation studies meaning that surveyors (I refuse to call them "scientists") sends outs surveys and tries to find statistical correlation. This is much different than real scientific studies, i.e., causal studies, where you try to understand cause and effect of your hypothesis.
One of the major issue in sitting all day is pasture management which causes back pain issues. So it's not about getting cardio exercise (that would be silly) but avoiding long term back pain issues. Also, sit-and-stand desk allows you to adjust height easily which is again important through out the day.
I bought a standing desk because my ass hurts from sitting down too long and I don't have a lot of flesh down there. I have to use a cushion and eventually that also puts pressure on my back and my ass still hurts.
So I bought a manually operated standing desk on Amazon.ca in order to not hurt my ass from sitting down too long.
Also not good for your prostate health to be sitting down for hours at a time.
But please convince me why I shouldn't stop the pain in the ass.
Somtimes, I am laying in the bathtub with a coke and completing projects on my Dell XPS16 running Debian.
I never felt the need to sit or stand.
This. After using a standing desk for a few years, I only occasionally want to sit (like 5% of the time). And I generally regret it after about 20-30 minutes.
I see a lot of standing desk users with improper monitor or keyboard height, and I think this hurts standing desks' reputation. If these are not correct, you will get neck and/or lower back pain if you use the desk long enough.
Unfortunately, it can be pricey to have a workstation that is ergonomically correct for you, because the keyboard to monitor height distance is much greater in a standing configuration vs. sitting. Convertible options tend to be expensive.
Having a cushy floor mat also makes a huge difference.
Personally, standing all day makes my feet tired & sore. I much prefer a well set-up sitting workstation and regular walking breaks.