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Have you found yourself slumped in your chair, eyeing a bag of chips only to have a lightbulb “click”.
“Ah! I know how to fix my problems.. I saw it at my friend’s contemporary office setup on a cliff in Bali! I must.. stand. ”
Is this you? I mean, probably not let’s be real. But perhaps you know someone like that to a lesser extent.
So my goal with this article is to help you decode fluff from fact. Is it the new Atkins Diet? Or do standing desks really provide a tangible benefit to working professionals? Let’s take a look at everything both options offer, and then let you decided.
Standing Desks vs Sitting Desks - An Overview
In the words of Queen, “Pressure pushing down on me, pushing down on you.” The lyrical gods of Rock were speaking prophetic verses before their time. Ergonomics had not washed over cubicle life, but they were on to something. At the base of your decision to switch from a sitting to a standing arraignment, is pressure.
As you feel yourself now, you’re probably slumped into a chair. Where does the pressure of your body weight go? It goes somewhere! Are you sitting vertically? Did I just involuntarily make you straighten up?
The main benefit of switching to a standing desk is that your body is back to basics. You don’t have something to take the pressure off. This is good and bad depending on you and your body. The positives are below, and if I made you want to listen to that Queen song it’s included so go get your fix.
Benefits of a Standing Desk
Our first benefit here was just alluded to! By standing, you’re going to move all that weight from the chair to a natural position.
Secondly and related to this natural position is POSTURE. It is not good for us to sit in a chair all day. We were made to run with the wolves, to sprint across the plains hunting for our next meal.
We sat after our spear had found its mark! I’m being a bit dramatic here but you get the point. When you change to a standing desk, you may notice you have to stand up straight. It just happens.
Disadvantages of a Standing Desk
Have you ever worked retail in a Macy’s in the middle of the Christmas rush? Well, let me tell you if you don’t run around like a headless chicken Becky will be upset. She needs to get the best present for her third nephew.
At the end of the day if you can excrete the Christmas music from your brain you might feel something. Your feet will hurt! Yes yes, it’s true. A dire circumstance of the life of the wage slave. I’ve been there.
Do you want to be on the same level as us?! Standing like a Zebra when it sees the lion in a rush for its discount. Your feet and your existence just accept their reality after the second week in a row of the routine.
However, not all is bleak! There are mats made especially to relieve the tension of your feet. This is my pro tip for your life. If you get a standing desk, do me a favor and get yourself a pressure absorbing mat.
Benefits of a Sitting Desk
No one ever mentions the good stuff about sitting desks in these posts. Well har har I’m here to give you some objectivity. A sitting desk can be good too.
Our number one benefit – You’re not the guy with the standing desk at the office. Yes, the sacrificial lamb isn’t you. Maybe you like standing desks more than Ed does, but he took the fall first.
After a few months, you can seamlessly integrate into the new standing desk wave without fearing how it could affect your social reputation among peers. You’re the practical “wait to see how it goes” type now. While Ed went out guns blazing on a new experience.
The reality is a sitting desk provides less strain on your body and that’s its true benefit. BUT it only gives you less strain because it takes the load off. Which leads up to the disadvantages of it. There’s no free lunch!
Disadvantages of a Sitting Desk
Because you are sitting relaxed in your vegetative state at your sitting desk, your muscles aren’t activating. What happens to people that do this year after year, day after day?!
Sorry, I lied. Just felt like being dramatic. Okay, so a common issue of long periods in a sitting desk is ATP. Or anterior pelvic tilt. Do you have it? I have it. It usually leads to you sleeping one night and going “why the heck does my back hurt”.
That’s what happened to me. After I realized the betrayal my sedentary life had imposed upon me, I set out with great fury to correct these imbalances. With such stretches never before tolerated by the human body.
If you’re sitting there, with your tilted pelvis thinking, “but Conor… how do I FIX IT”. Well looky here man or woman, I have a source you can use. Jokes aside watch the video below, he’s done me a great service at improving my posture.
Which Type will Lead to More Productivity?
This is subjective, why would you read this far? You knew it would just be some injected piece of hack journalism. But, I’ll hold that torch. I’m guessing if you’re reading this you’re having issues with your health, back, or posture.
So, whatever alleviates this symptom is going to help you get the most out of work. That is probably going to be a standing desk. If you do end up getting a standing desk and it has positive health benefits for you, tell me all about it!
Good luck on your search and I hope you enjoyed my light-hearted article. 🙂
Hey everyone 🙂 My name is Conor. I'm passionate about technology, zen, and improving the quality of life so many of us share at a desk!