Are Standing Desks Healthy?

As standing desks become increasingly popular many people wonder if they are as healthy as they seem.

If you are wondering whether standing desks are healthy, check out what doctors have to say.

What Doctors Have To Say

According to doctors at Harvard Medical, there are distinct benefits to standing desks. During a controlled study, participants burned more calories per hour on average when using a raised desk, versus a seated one. Additionally, standing after meals can help blood sugar levels return back to normal more rapidly, and even help alleviate shoulder and back pain.

However, the benefits are most apparent when they combined with periods of sitting and regular exercise.

Health Benefits of Standing Desks

In general, avoiding long periods of sitting is a better option than 6+ hours of no movement. That’s because there are common health risks associated with long periods of sedentary activity, including:

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Increased blood sugar levels, a cause of diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Premature death

Unfortunately, most modern offices often require workers to sit for extended periods of time. But, having a standing work surface, or convertible desks creates a way for workers to avoid jeopardizing their health at a low cost.

Other benefits you can expect from using one of these desks include:

  • Reduced back and neck pain
  • Improved mood
  • Higher energy levels
  • Greater sense of productivity

Other Factors to Consider

If used improperly, standing desks can cause ankle pain, fatigue, and lower back issues, among other things. So, Harvard doctors recommend that users build up the amount of time they spend on their feet while working each day.

By beginning with a limited period at these high desks each day and slowly increasing the period spent standing, workers will limit the negative side effects that can come from being on your feet all day. The body is meant to rest, so it’s best to alternate between sitting and standing as you work.


Standing desks lead to several health benefits and decrease the risk of serious health issues in 9-5 workers. When used correctly, and office workers have had time to adjust, these desks help many avoid devastating health issues.

Are Standing Desks Good For You?

4,004 hours of sitting per year.

“Working standing at a sit-stand desk is liberating, but having the freedom to adjust the height of our desks to our own unique bodies when sitting is also absolutely crucial for our long-term health. This part isn’t sexy enough either to be mentioned in the hyped-up studies. The one-size fits all approach that desk manufacturers have taken in the past must end.”


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