Throughout history, many famous high-achievers, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill all worked at standing desks. (There are far too many examples to list them all here.) Employers like Facebook and Google have an ever-increasing number of workers requesting stand-up desks. Reported benefits, according to The Smithsonian, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ include a reduction in risk of obesity and a few other major diseases, resulting in Lower Long-Term Mortality Risk. Scientists referred to in the article have stated that “the negative effects of extended sitting can’t be countered by brief bouts of strenuous exercise.” One more thing to consider: Standing burns twice as many calories as sitting. Some offices have taken this to heart and given workers standing desks to help boost their health and fitness levels while they work.
However, standing at a desk all day can also cause problems. The following article details some of these troubles. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296769.php You may start out with sore feet, leg cramps and back ache, but complications can move far beyond that to varicose veins, thrombosis and serious back pain. Symptoms are more likely if you stand with very little movement for extended periods. Pregnant women should stand a maximum of about 3 hours per day – more than that could result in reduced birth weight of their baby. The following article from Corporate Health Resources, Inc. http://www.chr.com/news/ explains that, among other things, standing too many hours a day may result in “preterm birth and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women.”
It has been demonstrated that neither sitting all day nor standing for extended periods, particularly if you cannot move around to maintain good leg circulation, is a healthy option. Although there may be other possible solutions, it appears that one answer is the sit-stand desk. We will discuss this and some other options in a future post.