There's a lot of buzz surrounding the standing desk trend. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about and if standing desks are really the way to go. After all, we've all been sitting at desks for a long time now.

Is sitting really that bad for you? I mean, these buns are made for sitting, right?

If you're not getting out of your seat much during the day, you really are hurting your body. If you're sitting 8 or more hours a day, your risk of dying prematurely increases by about 15%. Sitting for hours on end has also been linked to increased risk of some cancers, like lung cancer by 50% and colon cancer by 30%.

To sum up: stand up!

Some people think that buying a standing desk is a waste of money and you'll just end up sitting anyway. As a matter of fact, that's probably why you're reading this article to begin with. So let's take a look at the pros and cons of sitting desks vs. standing desks so you can make the best decision on if a standing desk is a good fit for you.

Sitting Desks

Let's start with the most common and well-known desk—the sitting desk. You know, the one you sit at. You're probably sitting at one right now.

Pros

Sitting itself isn't bad for you. Sitting for long periods of time is what will kill you—or, at least, increase your risk of a premature death. With an ergonomically correct chair, sitting can be pretty comfortable. And if you get up often to move around and get your blood pumping, your sitting desk may not be so bad.

Sitting desks are easy to find and you can get one for as little as 100 bucks.

Cons

After only 1 hour of sitting, the enzyme that burns fat, Lipoprotein Lipase, decreases up to 90%. You probably didn't want to hear that, but you'll thank us later. If your heart rate is slower, you're not using much energy, and your muscles aren't burning fat, you're more likely to gain weight and have a harder time losing.

If you're sitting at a desk in front of your computer, you're probably putting strain on your neck, shoulders, and spine. We have a tendency to hunch over our computers, which causes the strain and is probably the reason your back hurts and you have a headache at the end of the day. In addition, sitting all day can cause spinal disk compression, leading to degeneration and chronic pain.

Bad Sitting Posture
Image Credit: OfficeChairGuru

Standing Desks

On to the desk that's attempting to make sitting while you work a thing of the past. Standing desks aren't a new idea, but these height-adjustable desks have become a rising trend over the past several years. The question is, are these standing desks here to stay? Research has made it clear that sitting all day is not doing us any favors. Standing desks are a response to these frightening statistics.

Pros

After reading about the horrible ways sitting impacts your help, you're probably hoping for some good news here. You're in luck! Standing does reduce the risk of developing diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Some studies show that working at a standing desk can reduce upper back and neck pain by 54%. That's pretty significant!

Working at a standing desk for 3-4 hours a day means your heart is beating about 10 more times per minute. That adds up to about 50 calories a week or the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. On that note, I think I'll have another cupcake...

With an increased heart rate comes a boost in energy and alertness. Say goodbye to fatigue brought on by a lack of activity. Plus, standing helps you concentrate on the tasks at hand making you more productive by up to 10%. Hooray for getting things done!

Cons

There are so many great things about standing desks that you would think this section would be empty. However, there are a few cons to working at a standing desk. If your body isn't used to a standing desk, your legs and feet will hurt. If you stand in one place for too long without sitting or moving around, you may experience swelling in your feet and ankles and varicose veins. There's also more pressure on your knees.

You'll have to give up those high heels you love. Heels and being on your feet most of the day just won't fly. If you normally work in slippers from the comfort of your home, well...let's just say you really need to wear comfortable, supportive shoes if you're going to be standing. Anti-fatigue mats can make a huge difference if you prefer to stand for most of the day but dislike sore legs and feet.

Let's face it. If you're hurting, you're not going to be too focused on work. Your mind will be occupied with the pain and urging you to do whatever you possibly can to relieve it. Now.

The Best of Both Worlds?

Sitting and standing desks both have their pros and cons. We believe the benefits of standing make it a much better option, and we're sure you agree, but the cons shouldn't be ignored.

For most of our customers, a standing desk gives them a sense of freedom. Besides all the health benefits, added energy, and productivity, it just feels good to use a standing desk. But, who says you have to pick either sitting or standing?

Why not have both?

Choosing a standing desk doesn't have to be an all or nothing deal. The best solution may be to get a sit-to-stand desk and enjoy the best of both worlds!

You can sit when you want and stand when you want. Standing for 3-4 hours a day will give you great health benefits and increase your productivity, and you'll be able to sit and give your feet a break. You can't get much more freedom than that! Well, maybe you can but then you might drop your laptop in the pool like this guy:

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chris-kang

About the author:

Chris is always in pursuit of optimal living, and believes strongly that although "alone you can walk fast, together we can walk far" :)