Standing Desk – Worse for Health Than Sitting


Top 7 Health Benefits Of Standing Desks

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Do Standing Desks’ Benefits Stand Up to Research?

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What Happens to Your Body If You Use A Standing Desk Everyday for 6 Months

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Sitting vs. Standing. Is Your Sedentary Life Killing You?

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Why sitting is bad for you Murat Dalkilinç

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New Research Rekindles Debate Over Standing vs. Sitting at Your Desk Researchers say standing burns more calories than sitting, but the amount. Standing Desk Research The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology (2017) published a study that found that standing for 6 hours per day rather than sitting can prevent weight gain AND help in shedding the pounds. They estimated that a 143-lb person can burn an extra 54 calories per day with this routine. So if sitting is like smoking, and standing is worse than sitting, what the hell are we supposed to do?

Curl up in the fetal position or die? Not so fast, says Melissa Leber, Director of. Sitting at a desk all day will slowly eat away at one’s health—countless studies over the years have reaffirmed this common assumption.

Standing desks have become a popular solution to the. While standing, the number of calories burned was only slightly higher than while sitting — about 88 calories/hour Walking burned 210 calories/hour. In other words, use of a standing desk for three hours burns an extra 24 calories, about the same number of calories in a carrot. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at an interesting study just published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that finds jobs that require a lot of standing to be much worse for your health. But a new study by UK researchers offers a different perspective, saying that prolonged sitting doesn’t appear to be killing you any faster than standing (bad luck, anyone who forked out for.

Sitting has been shown to be bad for your health, but a new study says some types of sitting are worse for you than others. How often should you sit versus stand? An analysis of current research on standing desks has some surprising tips on how to best use them for your health. What are the risks of sitting too much?

Answer From Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns.

List of related literature:

Standing or sitting in one position all day while you’re working can cause your joints to become stiff and subject your neck and back to long-term, chronic compression, which can lead to back pain, poor posture, and physical performance degradation.

“Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging” by Ben Greenfield
from Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging
by Ben Greenfield
Victory Belt Publishing, 2020

However, even sitting for long periods at a desk can lead to musculoskeletal injury.

“Introduction to Kinesiology: Studying Physical Activity” by Shirl J. Hoffman, Duane V. Knudson
from Introduction to Kinesiology: Studying Physical Activity
by Shirl J. Hoffman, Duane V. Knudson
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2018

About 75 percent of the total body weight is supported on only four square inches of bone when humans sit up straight in a hard chair, so it is easy to understand how the resulting stress on the buttock tissues causes fatigue, discomfort, and the need for frequent changes in posture.

“Learning to Teach: Not Just for Beginners: the Essential Guide for All Teachers” by Linda Shalaway, Linda Beech
from Learning to Teach: Not Just for Beginners: the Essential Guide for All Teachers
by Linda Shalaway, Linda Beech
Scholastic Professional Books, 1998

This is why some schools have started having “exercise breaks” during classes and companies have installed standing desks or walking desks to help workers avoid too much sitting.

“Fitness for Life: Middle School-2nd Edition” by Corbin, Chuck B., Le Masurier, Guy, Lambdin, Dolly
from Fitness for Life: Middle School-2nd Edition
by Corbin, Chuck B., Le Masurier, Guy, Lambdin, Dolly
Human Kinetics, 2017

There are still many studies and debates on optimizing sitting posture.

“Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018): Volume VII: Ergonomics in Design, Design for All, Activity Theories for Work Analysis and Design, Affective Design” by Sebastiano Bagnara, Riccardo Tartaglia, Sara Albolino, Thomas Alexander, Yushi Fujita
from Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018): Volume VII: Ergonomics in Design, Design for All, Activity Theories for Work Analysis and Design, Affective Design
by Sebastiano Bagnara, Riccardo Tartaglia, et. al.
Springer International Publishing, 2018

Prolonged sitting significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally” by Chris Wark
from Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally
by Chris Wark
Hay House, 2018

Sedentary workers, therefore, should be able to sit in a variety of positions some office chairs are now being designed with this in mind.

“Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics And The Design Of Work: Anthropometry, Ergonomics And The Design Of Work” by Stephen Pheasant
from Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics And The Design Of Work: Anthropometry, Ergonomics And The Design Of Work
by Stephen Pheasant
Taylor & Francis, 1996

Today, most workplaces have some kind of standing desk—definitely an improvement.

“97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts” by Gunther Verheyen
from 97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts
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O’Reilly Media, 2020

Talk to your employer; they might be willing to accommodate your needs (it is increasingly common these days, given the startling research on sitting’s dangers and the productivity boost gained from standing).

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from Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering.
by Stephen Guise
Selective Entertainment, LLC, 2016

Standing instead of sitting increases metabolic rate, eliminates sitting-based orthopedic problems like low back pain and lost hip function, and makes it easier to retain healthy positioning.

“Unplugged: evolve from technology to upgrade your fitness, performance & consciousness” by Brian MacKenzie, Dr. Andy Galpin, Phil White
from Unplugged: evolve from technology to upgrade your fitness, performance & consciousness
by Brian MacKenzie, Dr. Andy Galpin, Phil White
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • So far today, I’ve watched three ted videos about sleep deprivations, water intake, and now sitting. You’re really stressing me out Ted!!

  • Good topic and information!

    I personally assumed that the benefits of sit/stand workstations would be more related to joint health and slightly improved circulation, rather than cardiopulmonary health. More importantly, potentially at least, somewhat improved alertness.

  • this was super helpful to watch considering i’m building my next setup around a convertible standing desk (video making and game streaming) i really dont want to fall into the trap of beginning to slouch in a gaming chair but also don’t want to constantly stand either.

  • this is why i go to my office’s toilet every 1 hour just to move from my desk, not helping when you work in a small company with small space ����

  • Perhaps standing desks are a good solution for people with ADHD? I find myself focusing far better when I pace the room back and forth on phone calls and thinking that standing will help.

  • I’ve always felt bad for people who use fit bits to keep their steps up or remind them to move because I’ve been fortunate that I’ve always had jobs that keep me moving. The only downside to being physically active all day at work is that recovering from work means I spend the rest of my time being sedentary. I’ve had to really be attentive to this, so now I walk for pleasure, swim laps at the gym or occasionally take a yoga class. My body appreciates and benefits from this type of activity more so than from activity that comes from my labor.

  • I just saw a videos that told me I had to stop sugar and othersNow this videoI think I’m just gonna go lay down in my grave right now at this point

  • what about sitting up straight? you mentioned bad posture/slumped shoulders, etc. however, you didn’t mention anything about sitting up straight or how ergonomic chairs can affect your health from sitting all day.

  • If your planning to just lie down,
    It’s sedentary too, is rather more damaging. It reduces your awareness & productivity at the work you’ve doing

  • There have recently been a slew of health articles written regarding the health risks of sitting for long periods of times. Many of these articles have focused upon careers that require long periods of sitting, jobs that are typically referred to as “sit-down jobs” or “desk jobs”. When you think about the health risks of sitting for prolonged periods of time I’m sure many things come to mind. What first comes to mind for me is obesity, back problem caused by lack of proper posture, and early onset of more serious health risks due to lack of physical activity. It is crazy to think that, even people who have a relatively active lifestyle, and who may only sit down for frequent amounts of time due to work are still at a greater risk of health concerns than people who work in my physically demanding jobs. Not only is sitting linked with a higher risk of certain disease, but it has also been found to cause a higher risk of colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and lung cancer! So what can you do if you work a desk job? It’s not like you can just quit your job and find one that offers more opportunities for physical activity! I liked how the video included studies that showed the positive effects of getting up and moving at various intervals throughout your work day. But what else can you do to help lower the risks that come with a desk job? Like everything else in the world of “healthy living” the main thing that sticks out to me would be to just get up and get moving whenever you possibly can. If it is not a possibility at work then go out after work and go to the gym, get groceries, even something as simple as walking your dog! The biggest thing would be “forcing” yourself to go out and do some physical activity after a long day of work even when you’re tired. The main thing to focus on is the fact that it is extremely important that we take care of ourselves to the best of our abilities.

  • I definitely believe that being sedentary for long periods of time can pose health risks. Some of the health risks that come to mind include symptoms of more serious diseases, obesity, and back problems. From experience, sitting for a long time does start to cause pain in my back so I have to stand and walk around often. Although I believe that being sedentary can pose health risks, I do not know how much I believe that it can increase the risk of developing cancer. These health risks can be diminished by making it a point to get up and walk around more often. Simply walking the dog or going to get the mail are a couple of ways to get up and move throughout the day. Many people work in an environment where they are sitting a majority if the day. For these individuals, simply standing up while on the phone or walking to get lunch on break. Also, they could go to the gym or even go grocery shopping. It is shocking to find out that individuals who have a relatively active life and only sit down for work are at a greater risk for health problems than an individual who has a physically demanding job.

  • Look, I study Exercise Physiology and even though we study this to death, our annual conferences involve us sitting down for more than 4 hours at a time. Sweet.

  • riding a bike is a sitting activity too. With motions in short range wich will lead to shortened muscles. So riding a bike is moving but its moving while sitting. Same for the gym most machines let u sit while doing ur exercises. Its beneficial to restore the body and natural positions and movements wich where lost over the years of sitting. Where just not made for our lifestyle and the fix for this is to change our lifestyle. I would go for the standing desk and switch between sitting and standing every hour or so and do some exercices. And the most important walk and do it barefoot like god or the superior alien race wich created us created us for. We also degenerate with every new generation. The weak can replicate and our genes degenerate couse we dont have to use our body like it was ment to be.

  • This reminds me of the fact that if you sit for a certain amount of time blood clots can form which can kill you when you stand up or move in a way to let blood flow better.
    There’s lots of cases of people gaming for long periods of time (longer than normal) then getting up and collapsing. I think what happens is the blood clot flows through your veins to your heart plugging it up and stopping your heart, or even stopping blood flow.

  • As specialist, I’m sure Custokebon Secrets is great way to lost a ton of fat. Why not give it a shot? maybe it’ll work for you too.

  • I like my sitty-standy desk, but am under no illusion about it being exercise. I find it more comfortable to switch positions periodically when I’m at the computer for long hours…and it makes it easier to vacuum underneath:)

  • I’ve been on the standing desk bandwagon for a few years. I took daily vitamins for several years, bran muffins, then fish oil supplements, cut out fat, gave up butter, started eating “good fats” again, found out animal fats actually aren’t that bad for you, etc, etc. I think this is the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I think from now on I’ll wait 10 years or so to adopt the latest scientific finding on health.

  • Surely having your penis mutilated doesn’t benefit your body, your mind and your manhood.

    Your son deserves your love, not a terrible useless dangerous amputation that removes the most sensitive part of the penis.
    Circumcision is a clear violation of the Human Rights Declaration: HIS body HIS choice.

    Don´t trust any “doctor” promoting Male Genital Mutilation

  • I have the varidesk and it is difficult to bring up the desk I have two monitors on the desk, so when I have to raise it I’m scared to pull my back and also my forearm muscles. I have to lean over the desk to grab the side levers that are too far back. I wish the varidesk was made like the one you show. Definitely a plus to have a stand up desk!!

  • The benefit of standing instead of sitting turns out to be not true.

  • A standing desk is great not because standing is better, but because it allows you to balance between standing and sitting. Variety is better for your body. If you spend 4 hours sitting and 4 hours standing, that’s a lot better than spending 8 hours sitting or 8 hours standing.

  • My question is does standing 40+ hours a week at work(retail pharmacist) do anything bad? I’ve seen studies go both ways on that. Great vid as always.

  • I don’t really agree with how arguments here were presented, and it really seems to suggest a lot more negatives associated with sitting at your desk vs standing at your desk.

    The only good argument I got from this video against standing desks is the prolonged standing increasing lower limb arterial stiffness. However, this seems like something a standing desk mat could counteract against.

    The Smith et al., 2017 study is a really bad example to use in trying to demonstrate potential weaknesses associated with using a standing desk. That study examined cooks, retail salespersons / clerks, and machine operators as examples of “standing” jobs. That is obviously quite different from a less physically straining operation where you are standing in front of a desk the whole day.

    As someone who experienced horrible lower back pain in the past and switched to a standing desk (+ standing desk mat) after consulting numerous physiotherapists and health experts, I can say 100% that it has changed my life for the better.

    Get a standing desk, and let your own experience speak for itself (it’ll end well).

  • You mentioned a Treadmill deskthat sounded good but you dropped the subject. Also, could you do a video on tDCS devices? Since they are so expensive, I would love to see someone call them a scam!!!

  • 11mins? Shit… so doing the math, I’ve lost about a year of life from smoking, and thats if I don’t get cancer. Can you do a vid on chantix?

  • Spinning desk will save us all. According to the first half of an unscientific study the centrifugal force enhances blood flow and oxygen saturation.

  • The video gives a lot of information about “what” studies say, but not “why” or how credible they are. The advice at the end is sound, but is irrelevant to which choice you should make because the “why” and credibility check are missing. Having those two elements would be more informative!

  • Seriously though, it’d be neat to see the science on walking desks-are they just as effective as normal walking, or is there a downside?

  • I focus the best while walking. Needles to say, not really doable while working on a computer. Maybe we’ll get that treadmill desk some day…

  • You said in the video itself that a standing desk has concrete benefits for both posture and relieving back pain related to prolonged sitting. That seems like a clear advantage, no? Most of the disadvantages you brought up are related to prolonged static positioning *in general*, regardless of posture during that time. So they obvious solution seems to be “use a standing desk, but take some breaks to move during the day”.

  • Hi guys! I am trying to use stand up desk, but feels like my knees are against this idea. No more than 5 minutes I start feeling them a bit. I am trying to keep a good posture while standing but still.. After having issues with back pain I would want to ruin my knees as well. Please respond.

  • Yeah, on one of these videos…….a programmer who sat for 10-12 hours per day……developed pulmonary embolism……he also knew others who had developed problems.

  • I have (imperfectly) designedand build an upsliding desktop so I can stands or sit and change it as soon I feel the need and BONUS: my poor design make the change a bit chore and force me to exercise more 😉

  • I am a standing desk fan but am under no impression that standing is any better than sitting at work. But what standing does do is encourage me to move around the office more. My office is just me and a single colleague most of the other staff are upstairs or downstairs from my office. If my office mate asks a question and I am seated, I tend to just wheel my chair across. If I am standing, I’ll walk over and then probably go for a quick walk to see a few other people whilst I am away from my desk. If I have a question for someone in sales upstairs and am seated, I jump into our UC Chat program and ask them the question or pick up the phone. If I am standing, I will generally go for a walk up there to see them. So with the standing desk, it is not the standing that has the health benefits, but rather the fact that I do an extra 1500-2500 steps a day on average just owing to the fact that I am standing for a moderate portion of the day. I also tend to move more whilst standing at my desk. YMMV

  • i recently switched to a makeshift standing desk because of my excruciating hip joint. i’ve noticed SUCH a difference. this is great for people who have a sedentary work lifestyle. i’m working from home these days so i sit 80% of the time and use my standing desk periodically. this switch has helped so much with my tight hip flexors

  • However sitting for extended period of time shortens you qauds an illupsoas which you need to stand in a healthy way so will avoid back pain.

  • Last 1 year,my physical activity is at lowest, last 4 months it’s nill, that’s why I feel my body is stiff, especially lower half
    I will now exercise my body regularly,done light stretching & jumps feeling good now.

  • Humans just standing immobile on two legs for hours is actually putting alot of stress on the spine. The best answer is to sit and work for 40 ish minutes plus sometimes walking around or lying on your back for 10 minutes or so.

  • I was literally watching this with my back hunched and immediately straightened up my back! PS: Try to make a habit to stand up every 15-20 mins or so, I know cuz I’m a doc

  • Conclusion: Labor demand of hours of work in front of display under capitalist economy drive us all mad and ill not matter if you are stand or sit.

  • Nailed it. I have a job where i stand and walk constantly. My gf has a job where she sits most of the day. On my time off, I probably spend half my time lounging. She spends almost all her time off staying active.

  • You should do more B-roll scenes/shots! I love how it breaks the video up and also looks incredible. Love this video. I never thought about getting a standing desk!

  • For me prolonged sitting desk creates a problem for my sciatica. There are desk that allow you to sit and stand throughout the day, smart desk. And, when sitting I prefer to sit on a ball.

  • After finding I tended to get backache sitting at my consulting room desk I bought a Scandinavian kneeling seat. This is excellent and very flexible. My back problem was solved immediately. It was great for examining children when I sat on the lower support to bring me down to their level. For injecting knees the patient put their foot on the lower support while I sat on the main seat, everything lined up nicely to inject through the front of the joint (not suitable if you need to aspirate it as well). A great, although rather expensive, seat which I used until I retired when I gave it to my sister who had a lot of back pain. I wish I had kept it. It was the best desk chair I had ever had. Only problem is that it does scuff the toes of your shoes on the floor.

  • Does this apply to people with flat feet and chronic ankle issues? I feel like that might change the viability of this. I’m not overweight btw. I’m something like Brad but slightly thinner

  • It’s ok aaron I believe that your an actual doctor you dont need to wear the shirt and tie to convince me of your doctorness. Aarons are naturally trustworthy people.

  • Yea my boss would never allow me to take a 2 min break every 30 mins. Besides I work in a 2 story building. I would have to walk up and down the stairs a lot and stairs have been know to wear out knees.

  • Is lying down bad for us to? And, if so, should we be sleeping standing up? And if lying down is bad for us, maybe worse than sitting, and we lie down when we sleep, but not getting sleep is very harmful, then WTF?

  • Does anyone know of a schientific study that was not dichotomous? does any normal intelligence human think that any major question has a simple dichotomous either or answer?

    The Conclusion here is refreshing!

    my Doctors first rule was set a timer on your screen for 20-25 minutes and get up and walk for at least 30 seconds… its been huge!

  • My boss bought this for me and a few other coworkers. I find that I snack less while standing which is good for my waistline. I need it since I gained 10 lbs moving to an office job-yuck.

  • Stood as a nurse and pharmacy tech since 1987….now my knees are bone on bone…my right hip also full of arthritis and every day is painful.

  • i’m currently suffering the consequences of prolonged sitting plus a poor posture, and whenever i’m reading or watching sth whether it’s digital or not i’m walking around, and when sth requires me to work on the pc i’m switching positions between standing and laying down. i know laying down while working on laptop isn’t good, but i’m taking breaks every 10-20mins and i have a lot of work to do, so i’m praying that laying position will not worsen my condition

  • I read many good reviews on the net about how exactly Custokebon Secrets (search on google) can assist you lost a ton of weight. Has anybody tried using this popular weight loss system?

  • There is no mention of postural benefits form alternating between sitting and standing. Going back and forth between the two definitely helps alleviating my upper-back neck pain. I doubt anyone is mistaking sit-to-stand desks for exercising replacement. Significant omission for a study claiming to unravel the TRUTH

  • I”ve researched these desks quite heavily and I’ve never seen the claim that they help cardio. Maybe cuz I focus more on science than intro paragraphs, but still, I’ve never once read that claim. I wonder which companies say that.

  • I read plenty of good reviews on the net about how Fenoboci Diet Plan can help you lost tons of fat. Has anybody tried using this popular fat burn diet plan?

  • ffs man did any of the studies CONTROL FOR WEIGHT??? sure, maybe activity doesn’t moderate the harms… but what if the longest sitters are mostly morbidly obese?!

  • The comments at 1:53 about not being reversed by activity other times I find highly questionable. Probably other studies exist or will exist contradicting that. Probably not sufficient data to support that. And, again, you have the correlation versus causation factor.

  • Thank you for proving my theory of progress of degeneration. The whole point of the scientific”progress” is to make life easier to the point that you don’t have to do sНІТ. And then to do boring, repetitive and unproductive exercises just to stay alive. Keep going, maybe one day you’ll katch up with reality.

  • I may doubt the claims on standing with mortality/overhealth health; BUT I think it’s kind of crazy to suggest it doesn’t help your back (as you seem to agree at 8:00). I think this is the key takeaway. Don’t skip out on a standing desk before finishing the video!

  • Final Analysis…”You SEE what you want to SEE, you HEAR what you want to HEAR”. If you’ve never been to Paris do you doubt that it’s there? I use a standing desk up and down throughout the day and I feel it helps me in many ways. Point being…Perception IS Reality. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Your witness.

  • I recently overheard my coworkers talking about how running is bad for you. “It’s basically the worst thing for your body.” I know they say this because they are avid bikers. Do you have sufficient research on the “risks” of running? Compared to other types of exercise?

  • I don’t think many people are considering standing permanently at their desk. The idea behind desk raisers is to, every 20-40 minutes of sitting, do 2-15 minutes of standing. Also, no one stands perfectly still. This video makes it sound like you have to choose between 2 extremes.