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Do stand-up desks actually work?

They're gaining popularity and claim to boost positivity while lowering blood pressure, so we took one through the Muddy test to see if that's really true!

The thought of a stand up desk immediately brought achy legs to mind for me; standing up all day doesn’t exactly sound like fun; but these desks are gaining popularity with claims they can make you happier AND healthier. Working from home has both its ups and downs. Without the hustle of a busy office, it’s easy to pop on the slippers and relax into your home office space or even pop your laptop on your lap (definitely not while watching Netflix though).

As a journo, I’m lucky enough to sometimes get sent things to try out, and I was quite intrigued about this one. Varidesk’s rather innovative kit is actually a sit-stand desk so you can swap between sitting and standing in two seconds. It has a pair of clips on the side that gently lift it up or down and it’s really very easy to use (even for a luddite like me)! For me, this was the clincher, but if you’re a bit unsure by the whole idea, here’s 3 reasons to give them a whirl:

Health benefits

Adding more movement into your day is bound to come with some health benefits including lower risks of weight gain and heart disease, lower blood sugar levels and reduced back pain (I don’t know for sure about this; but I can see posture wise how it might help). The feeling of being freer definitely makes you more active as I found you’re more likely to move around than just stay seated; so that’s extra calories burned without even thinking about it! Some studies show that standing all day can compress the spine and boost varicose veins and DVTs, but I think even the makers of these desks would say you shouldn’t stand ALL day, just go between the two!

Improve mood and energy levels

Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall wellbeing. Moving more will keep up your energy levels up so you can wave goodbye to that mid-day slump and fatigue (well not wave goodbye totally, but it does lessen). There’s research which links sitting to an increased risk of both depression and anxiety and I know I sometimes feel a bit worse after sitting for hours. As I mentioned above, you don’t need to stand all day but switching it up every now and again can boost your mood and make you feel better, so it’s worth a go.

Boosts productivity

The desks bring the keyboards up to your level so you can forget about any concerns like slumping over the desk! Standing and working may take some getting used to, but you’ll get into it in no time. I found it helped me focus so I think ultimately boosted productivity rather than hindered it.

Style wise, it’s not necessarily in keeping with my desk or workspace (above), but I’ve grown to quite like it in there and people always comment on it! The desks are such a simple concept, but they really might help your office space for all of the reasons above. I did end up doing a bit more housework between typing, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing (going to the kitchen to brew up definitely increased though ; ) They come complete with little to no assembly and there’s a 30-day, no risk guarantee so you can give it a go and see for yourself. Let us know if you do!

Models start at £150 (The Pro Plus 36 that I use is £365).

VARIDESK

 

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2 comments on “Do stand-up desks actually work?”

  • Jannine Harris February 21, 2019

    As a professional with ADHD, I need to switch from sitting to standing as I work. When I was teaching, I had a version of this and some of my students used it too.

    Now that I work from home, I work at standing height with a chair (stool) so that I can switch between sitting and standing without even thinking about it..

    Desk adaptation tools like you are suggesting are invaluable to us who need to move to concentrate. 4.4% (approx 1 in 22) of the adult population have ADHD whether diagnosed or not. We are over represented in SMEs, as are people with dyslexia etc who also benefit from moving while they work.

    For neurologically diverse brains, standing desks make one heck of a difference. My understanding of typical brains is that they benefit too.

    Desks like.these can and should be the norm. 🤗 Movement makes the mind work.

    Reply
    • annaloudearden March 21, 2019

      Jannine
      Apologies, I thought I’d replied to this! Great feedback to the article. Thank you!

      Reply

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