> 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.