Regardless of the kind of business you’re running, chances are you spend at least a portion of it sitting at your computer. And, according to numerous studies, too much sitting is extremely bad for you. In fact, in 2014, The Huffington Post declared that sitting was the new smoking, and workers worldwide began to opt for standing desks to battle the negative effects of sitting. However, a recent study has revealed that standing all day is also bad for you. So, what’s the story? Do you need a standing desk or not?
First, let’s look at the data. Studies that compared adults who sat for less than two hours with those who sat for more than four hours found the latter had a 50% greater risk of death by any cause, and a 125% greater risk of issues related to cardiovascular disease. Pretty scary stuff! The facts are clear – prolonged sitting is hazardous to your health, and there has been plenty of other research supporting that conclusion. But the recent study of people using standing desks all day found that participants suffered from fatigue, discomfort, and lower limb swelling. Ouch.
As is so often the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. You need to break up your sitting and standing into smaller chunks. If you have a standing desk, sit down for short intervals. If you have a sitting desk, stand up to answer the phone, talk to colleagues, and take regular short walks around your office (or the block). And if you’re thinking of investing in a standing desk, get one that converts to a seated desk, so you have the best of both worlds.