Is a standing desk good or bad for your back?

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Is a standing desk good or bad?

Is a standing desk good or bad?

With recent research showing the dangers of sitting at a computer workstation all day we often get asked, “Is a standing desk good or bad for my back?”  The answer isn’t as straight forward as it may seem.  The real issue about static postures.  As a chiropractic and physical therapy provider specializing in treating back and neck pain, we see people from all walks of life.  In the work force, we often see office workers more than we see construction workers.  This seems counter-intuitive because construction workers often move heavy loads while an office worker rarely moves.  The important word is “moves”.  Our bodies are designed to move.  It helps with growth, repair and getting nutrients to tissues.  Breaking static postures, such as the ones sitting at a computer workstation, is more important than what position you are working in.

So here is the good and bad of a standing workstation:

The Good
  1. Standing puts less pressure on the spine than sitting
  2. When a standing surface is set up properly, it can encourage better posture than sitting
  3. It breaks the the static posture of sitting
  4. You are more likely to move when standing
The Bad
  1. Standing is more tiring than sitting
  2. Standing without movement is still a static posture, you still need to change position
  3. Blood circulation is stressed, due to blood pooling in legs.  (People with circulatory issues may be a risk)
  4. A standing surface must have the same proper set-up as a proper seated position.  Keyboard, mouse, and monitors must be set at height to encourage proper posture.
The Verdict
  1. Alternating your sitting and standing posture breaks up the static posture
  2. People with disc issues may benefit from a standing position
  3. The expense of setting up a standing workstation can be costly, try improving your current sitting set-up and see if you notice an improvement.
  4. Get moving!  The most important thing you can do is take micro stretch breaks every hour to break the static postures. Here are some good stretches you can do
    1. Chin Tuck
    2. Trapezius Stretch
    3. Chest Stretch

To learn more about how to set up a proper computer workstation set-up:  5 tips to set up a proper workstation

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