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The Standing vs. Sitting Desk Debate: 3 Things You Might Not Already Know

By: Dr. Jace Buzek, DC, CCSP, CACCP

Lately I’ve been getting more interested in whether or not we should be standing or sitting at our desks while working on our computers. As the buzz around standing desks grows, and as more and more of my patients ask me what I think about standing desks, I thought it was important to consider what I know and to look into some of the information that is available on the benefits of standing vs. sitting desks. Here are 3 things that you might not know about “the desk debate.”

1.There is not a lot of research that says that one is better than the other. If you look up the research, and specifically the systematic reviews that are available for helping you make decisions to stand or sit, you’ll find that there aren’t any strong conclusions that one is better than the other. Some of the better physical outcomes are associated with standing treadmill desks, but if you’re comparing standing to sitting alone, there haven’t been many really good studies that can conclusively state that one desk is better than the other.

2.It’s probably best to go with a hybrid desk that allows you to stand or sit. If you’re working on the computer for long periods of time, the best option would probably be to purchase or build a desk that permits standing and sitting. Especially if you are sitting 100% of the time now, you’ll want a hybrid desk to allow your body to slowly acclimate to standing more and more. You can use a timer on your phone, apps, websites, or whatever works for you to gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing a day until you reach whatever standing time goal you have set for yourself. I usually recommend about 50% standing 50% sitting as a good goal for most of my patients, which changes depending on their level of physical fitness, body type, health issues, and so on. You should consult your chiropractor or medical doctor to see what will work best for your prior to setting your standing time goals.

3.If you want a standing desk for better posture, you’re going to need to be just as aware as you are when you’re sitting. It turns out that standing alone does not really change our posture that much. So, even while you’re standing, you have to be sure that your computer is at eye length and that you’re using good posture (i.e., hold your head up [not tilted forward] and keep your shoulders back). A number of my patients have started using the Lumo Lift, which is a wearable device that reminds you to use use good posture when you’re not. Another great option that we use at our office is posture kinesiology tape. It serves as a constant reminder to keep the chest open and shoulders back without using a brace. Nonetheless, be sure that you’re remaining aware of your posture regardless of whether or not you’re sitting or standing while working.

At Wash Park Chiro, we have one standing and one sitting desk for our office managers. Our chiropractors use primarily standing desks, but that’s because we’re always on the go working with our patients. We chose the Kangaroo Adjustable Height Desk for our standing desk option. For more information about what might work for you, e-mail us at [email protected], call us at (303) 744-7100, or stop in to check out how we use our standing desk.

Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec

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