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So You Decided to Get a Standing Desk

Congratulations, you have obviously been looking for solutions and stumbled across standing desks. As someone with years of physical movement training, a doctorate in physical therapy, and general passion for movement, let me give you some tips .As I have previously said, standing desks are not a requirement for healthy work and in fact desk work done standing. Many habits can be adapted without the use of such specific equipment. This is coming from the idea that so many people who purchase standing desks rarely use them. In a Swedish study of the effect of sit-stand desks on sitting time, there was only a 5% reduction in sitting time with the implementation of such desks [1].

This does not mean that they are useless, but that there is much more at play than simply a desk. We have to look at the habits and education of the people using the desks. An Australian paper found that sitting time was reduced by 1.7 hours when sit-stand desks were combined with 3 group interviews [2]. During these interviews, workers were simply asked how they felt the desk was working and any issues that they had with the desk. Providing this change in habits and understanding the importance of the use of a standing desk had a huge impact on sitting time.

These two studies show an important distinction. We have to talk about the use of a standing desk. Most companies leave employees to figure out these habits for themselves and thus reap little to no rewards. Even something as simple as discussing the use of standing desks among the employees so that they can bond over the struggles and frustrations of using a standing desk can improve their adoption. Here are 3 important things to include if you are getting a standing desk:

  1. Find your motivation before getting a standing desk. Health benefits, productivity boost, or energy level increase are all valid, but should be established as a belief before you get the desk.

  2. Manual standing desks are less likely to be used, though they are cheaper alternatives to automated onces.

  3. Don’t expect to only change the desk in your office, you have to adjust other aspects to make it more accessible in standing. If your office supplies are only accessible in sitting, for example, you are far less likely to stand as it will limit your work.


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