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See, and here lies the issue with an article like this, it's wishy-washy. I've been reading the NYT for years, and it's not just the NYT that does this: write committed non-committal pieces with lots of words, sort of like an English essay in university. Good thing this is non-committal standing-desk wordplay and not politics, this time!



It doesn't actually seem very wishy-washy? The article is focused on a single point: standing desks don't provide much health benefit to most people. The conclusion follows: use a standing desk if you like it, not if you've been wrongly convinced that you need it.

What more committed stance would you like the author to take? Since there are limited health benefits, nobody should ever use a standing desk?


That's the problem. What point is the author trying to make? It even says in the article that sitting all day is bad, and that standing desks can help people with neck and lower back problems. That's exactly the point why I have a standing desk. My back hurts from sitting at my computer all day, so alternating back and forth helps. Not being in pain is a significant health benefit to me. People who don't have pain, are proactively preventing back pain problems by using 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...


The point is literally in the title. The health benefits are overrated. That's not a judgment on you for using them. If they benefit you that's great. I don't understand how any of this is a problem and why you take this so personally.


The point of the article was to provide something for the clickbait title to link to. Standing desks have been popular for long enough now that it's apparently time to start writing contrarian articles about them for clicks.


There is definitely a narrative being thrown around that standing desks are "good for you" and "healthy" and that you should use them. This article is significant in that it refutes that.

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.


I don't understand the logic here. Who is advocating for standing all day? The purpose of a standing desk is to give you the ability to alternate between sitting and standing.

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.


The point of the article is that you shouldn't treat a standing desk as a magic bullet to fix the "sitting all day is bad for you", and there is no evidence to support that claim.


I dunno about the NYT, but this is something Dr Carroll does a fair bit (I follow him both on his Healthcare Triage YouTube channel, and the Incidental Economist blog). He's not a fan of the "XYZ is the cure to all ills" fads that seem so common these days (not that they're anything new), and it's not uncommon for him to write stuff like this.

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."




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