While standing desks – popular among Leonardo da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill – have been around for ages, they have only recently shot back into popularity. All of a sudden, office workers across New Zealand seemed to be chucking out the chair and standing while they work.
This rise to popularity of the standing desk, seen most in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, has its proponents, but it also has a fair share of critics. Let’s examine the pros and cons on both sides of this hotly contested office furniture debate to determine which is the healthiest way to work.
Arguments for standing
- Burn calories: when you’re standing as opposed to sitting, your heart beats faster and you burn more calories. It’s only a little bit higher but over 8 plus hours, it adds up.
- Chronic disease: the biggest reason for office furniture that fosters standing is that sitting down for long periods of time is associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Good posture: stand up desks promote good posture, which is great for warding off back aches, pains and injuries.
Arguments for sitting
- Varicose veins: studies show that sitting at your office desk results in fewer varicose veins than people who are constantly on their feet.
- Back pain: remember when we said that stand up desks promote good posture? Well, that’s only true if you’re standing properly with a straight back and even pressure. Many people continually lean onto one leg which has the opposite effect, causing sciatica and lower back trouble.
- Balance, comfort, efficiency: Many New Zealand office workers feel that they have active lifestyles outside of work; they don’t need office furniture to get them to stand. Plus, they feel more comfortable and efficient working while seated.
Is the sit-stand desk the answer?
There are clearly reasons to both sit and stand while working. If you aren’t a die-hard fan of one or the other, there is a middle ground: the sit-stand desks. Popular among workers of all varieties across Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, these desks give you the best of both worlds and are likely the healthiest option of all.