- Using a standing desk can improve posture and relieve back and neck pain, with studies showing that standing for just one hour a day can reduce upper neck and back pain.
- Sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, while standing can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Standing for one hour per day can increase energy levels, focus, productivity, and happiness, according to studies.
- Standing desks can be used for both sitting and standing, offering flexibility and the ability to switch between positions throughout the day.
In light of the rapid increase in remote work over the past few years, standing desks have been enjoying a significant rise in popularity. While standing desks were not new pre-pandemic, post-pandemic interests in better workstations are more popular than ever. The health benefits, in particular, have been at the forefront of the standing desk craze, but health benefits alone are not the only reason to take a look at refreshing your home or office setup.
Let’s take a look at the 6 reasons why you should be purchasing a standing desk today.
History of the Standing Desk
Even as standing desks are something you only think of in terms of home offices these days, they have been around for longer than you might think. In fact, the first known recorded use of a standing desk dates all the way back to the 1400s. Leonardo da Vinci, which is a name many will recognize, used a standing easel to help paint the Mona Lisa.
Fast forward to the 1700s when the first U.S. Presidents were known to use standing desks. As you continue to look toward more modern history, there continue to be many pictures of famous authors, figures, and politicians all making use of the standing desk. If there is one more date you should know, it’s 2010, as this is the year when doctors and researchers began their quest to stop the world from prolonged sitting because of increased health risks.
Reasons to Buy a Standing Desk
It should come as no surprise the number one reason to start using a standing desk is that sitting is doing you more harm than you might recognize. It’s believed that sitting for eight hours (or more) a day increases numerous health risks like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many other health risks. Standing up can help lower your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol, which can counteract some of the risks of heart disease that you are more susceptible to while sitting.
Not to mention that standing up can help reduce the risk of weight gain as you may be more likely to move around, go for a walk, or do small exercises that will help you avoid eating. Standing also burns more calories than sitting, so even when you are standing still, you are still burning off more calories than you would be when seated.
One of the better-known benefits of using a standing desk is that it can immediately begin improving your posture. As you sit at a desk, you are undoubtedly hunched over at times reading on a screen or simply by the nature of how your chair curves toward the top. If you set up a standing desk and position a monitor or screen at eye level, you should find that previous pains in your spine or neck will start to feel better over time. Simply put, a standing desk is the best way to work while making sure you are relieving the pressure put on your body that comes while seated.
When you consider that up to 80% of adults will experience some type of back pain over the course of their life, the argument for a standing desk dramatically increases. Seated office workers, in particular, attribute their back pain to sitting at a desk all day long. Even studies as far back as 2011 showed that when study participants stood for around an hour each day, they would halve the amount of pain they felt in their upper neck and back.
Improving Your Focus
The same 2011 study that found back pain was halved when standing had some other important information to continue the idea that standing desks are more beneficial overall. Study participants found that standing for just one hour per day made 87% of the group feel like they had more energy. Similarly, 71% of the same group of people felt like they had more focus, 66% felt more productive, and 62% felt happier. These are not numbers to ignore and additional studies have gone on to show these results were no fluke.
Yet another study from Texas A&M University discovered that among a group of call center participants that stood up during their shifts, they indicated they were 50% more productive on these days. The science here is that when you stand, your muscles are more engaged and pumping fresh blood to your brain, which releases chemicals to enhance your focus and reduce fatigue.
While not as notable as something like reducing the risk of heart disease, the ability to find more ways to interact with your team in an office is a nice benefit of a standing desk. When you stand, you feel more free to move around, which might have you walking around an office and interacting with your colleagues more.
This is going to be especially true if you are part of a recent group that has just returned to the office part-time or full-time. Should you want to get to know someone you may have only spoken to through video chat, you have to proactively approach them. As you sit, you feel more pressure to just stay in your seat, which reduces the desire to walk around and start chatting or take another coffee break.
Sit or Stand
One of the most overlooked reasons for purchasing a standing desk is that it works great for both sitting and standing. There is rarely a standing desk model that is only good for standing as almost all standing desks work for both purposes. Whether they are motorized or require a crank, standing desks can easily convert to a seated desk and vice versa, giving you the best of both worlds. Even standing up part of your day is better than sitting your entire workday so the benefits are still there, no matter if you stand for eight hours or three.
This may not be for everyone but there is a growing market within the standing desk space for equipment that can be used in tandem with these desks. This means that people who have a standing desk can also purchase a standing mat, which helps reduce fatigue. Alternatively, there are miniaturized walking treadmills that you can place under your desk to get your steps in every day.
Not only will using a piece of fitness equipment like this help your overall health, but you can do it at any time of the day, and when you are not using it, move it out of the way. Being able to utilize this type of exercise equipment further adds to the argument that using a standing desk is going to help you burn more calories than sitting five days a week.
Best Standing Desks to Buy Today
Vari Electric Standing Desk
- Voted Best Electric Desk by Good Housekeeping 2022
- Four different programmable height settings
- Easy assembly in under 10 minutes
- Ranges from 25-50.5 inches high
One of the best-known names in the standing desk space, the Vari Electric Standing Desk is a great option.
Available in two sizes, 48 x 30 or 60 x 24, you can easily set up the Vari and have it ready to go within 10 minutes or so. Once it’s fully built, you have a standing desk that can rise from 25-50.5 inches high, which offers a solid range of height for many people, regardless of how tall they stand. Once you find the right height for you, you can easily return back to this level through one of the four programmable memory buttons on the Vari’s LED control panel. This enables you to quickly return back to your preferred standing position with one button press at any time.
Vari prides itself on using whisper-quiet motors, so even if you are on a video call, no one should be able to tell if you move your desk up or down. The desk itself can support up to 220 pounds of weight, which is more than enough for a couple of monitors and other desk storage items. You can even choose from one of five different tabletop designs to best fit your office aesthetics.
- Available in five different table sizes and six different colors
- 187-pound weight capacity
- Tabletop is one inch thick for increased stability
- Capable of adjusting between 28 and 47.6 inches in height
For anyone looking for a more budget-friendly standing desk option, the FLEXISPOT EC1 is affordably priced without compromising on features.
Available in a variety of sizes from 40 x 24 to 60 x 24, you can pick from any size in between to find the right fit for your workspace. Better yet, choose from eight different desktop colors, which allows you to quickly personalize your very own standing desk. As soon as the FLEXISPOT EC1 is assembled, you have 187 pounds of weight capacity to support multiple monitors, a laptop or desktop, plus a range of accessories like file storage, notebooks, and more.
The motor can quickly lift the EC1 from its seated position at 28 inches up to its highest standing position of 47.6 inches at a speed of one inch per second. The motor itself produces a noise level under 50 dB so you shouldn’t have any issue with the noise level should you move around during your workday. As the EC1 also uses a 1-inch thick wood tabletop, you should feel very comfortable that, while the price here might be budget-friendly, the desk feels incredibly sturdy.
VIVO Standing Desk
- Available in 8 different colors
- Spacious work area: 63.1 x 31.5 inches
- Height adjustable from 29.8 to 48.8 inches
- Capable of supporting up to 132 pounds of weight
For those who would prefer to skip the motor route and go manual with their standing desk, the VIVO height-adjustable standing desk is the best option.
Don’t let the manual crank process keep you from checking out the VIVO desk as it’s a wonderful sit-stand combination option for many people. The table itself offers a good amount of workspace within its 63.1 x 31.5-inch size, which means plenty of room for two or even three monitors plus a computer. The height of the desk ranges anywhere from 29.8 to 48.8 inches and achieves this height through a manual crank. The crank requires minimal effort regardless of whether the desktop is free of items or full of computers, monitors, and other desk accessories.
Once built, the VIVO can hold up to 132 pounds of storage across its all-steel construction but feels far sturdier. Backed by a three-year warranty, you can feel comfortable that the crank is built to last. However, if the worst happens and the crank fails, you can take advantage of VIVO’s customer service to get a repair or replacement.
FEZIBO Standing Desk
- Offers four drawers for additional storage
- Solid desktop can hold up to 176 pounds of weight
- Spacious monitor stand for increased ergonomics
- Extra hook for hanging headphones
If you are looking for a standing desk that offers plenty of storage for all of your accessories, the FEZIBO standing desk is the definite answer.
The highlight of the FEZIBO is no doubt its four drawers, which break up into two drawers below the table and two that rest below the monitor stand. Each drawer offers around 12.4 inches of width and 8.46 inches of depth, which is plenty of room for papers, file folders, calculators, pens, tissues, or anything else you might need during a workday. The monitor stand is perfectly raised to be directly in your sight line, which encourages good posture.
Using the FEZIBO to raise and lower the deck happens at a speed of one inch per second and you can choose from any height between 27 inches and 46 inches. Like other desks in this space, the FEZIBO keeps the motor noise under 50 dB, so you should feel as if the desk movement happens quickly and quietly. Capable of supporting 176 pounds of weight, even with four full drawers, the FEZIBO feels very sturdy. One final bonus is the desk comes with a hook for headphones so you can easily hang them out of the way when they are not in use.
At the end of the day, a standing desk is no doubt going to offer you a number of benefits that makes them well worth considering for your next home office purchase. Between better posture, burning additional calories, and feeling more productive, it should come as no surprise as to why these types of desks have grown in such popularity. Knowing that you can grab a standing desk for as little as a few hundred dollars makes it a sound investment and a much easier starting point for better health than trying to get 10,000 steps in per day. Okay, but seriously, you really should do both.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com.