I’ve read a lot of articles about standing desks, let me tell you. Some of that reading was before I invested in my own standing desk and under desk treadmill setup and the rest happened when I started writing this blog. To be honest, I educated myself a lot more on standing desks when I started writing about them because my own purchase was out of necessity rather than taking the time to thoroughly research what I needed.
You see, I am not an expert on standing desks. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot, but the real experts are the ones who have helped me learn everything I have so far. And from what I’ve learned, I am looking forward to upgrading my own home office setup very soon!
In this blog post, I want to share 5 articles about standing desks that I have found from all of my research so far. These articles have helped me piece together all the little nuggets of information I’ve figured out myself and ultimately they’ve schooled me on everything I need to know, to help myself, and to help you when sharing my tips.
You may see some of these articles linked elsewhere on my blog because whenever I share facts or studies, I like you to know where that information has come from, but there are a lot of articles I’ve simply consumed and never referenced. So all that information has been stored away in my head and now it’s time to shine a light on the amazing journalists, authors and researchers who are helping us figure out the best setup for our home or work office environments.
Let’s dive in!
- 1 1. “The truth behind standing desks” by Robert H. Shmerling, MD
- 2 2. “Turns out your standing desk isn’t solving your sitting problem” by Daphne Leprince-Ringuet
- 3 3. “The ups and downs of sit-stand desks” by ScienceDaily
- 4 4. “Standing Desk Research Reinforces Benefits of Standing” by SteelCase
- 5 5. “Standing Desks: How They Help You Beat Inactivity” written by Stephanie Watson, reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD
1. “The truth behind standing desks” by Robert H. Shmerling, MD
I love this study. It’s honest and it doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. In “The Truth Behind Standing Desks” Robert H. Shmerling shares that although the health and fitness industry was once raving about standing desks, switching to a standing desk alone won’t increase your calorie burn by anything substantial. He does note that when you compare sitting, standing, and walking for 1 hour that the calorie burn is significantly higher when you are walking for 1 hour. Which, for me, makes me feel really good about using my under desk treadmill with my standing desk!
This study is well worth a read because Robert also highlights that standing vs. sitting has many health benefits outside of calories burned so I recommend you give it a read if you have time!
2. “Turns out your standing desk isn’t solving your sitting problem” by Daphne Leprince-Ringuet
This article is great because Daphne features multiple studies outlining that sitting and sedentary lifestyles can lead to heart disease. This is something that not a lot of us focus on when we are concerned with our sedentary jobs and health because it’s easier to focus on more visible problems, like weight gain or problems with losing weight due to your desk job. But we should be looking at the bigger picture. In London, they found that London bus drivers had three times more risk of “sudden death” compared to their more active colleagues. This seems to be linked to how long they spend sitting (driving the bus) every day. More studies in the UK found that people who sat for long periods of time in their day were two times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
It’s scary stuff but this article will open your eyes and force you to evaluate your own working-from-home setup!
3. “The ups and downs of sit-stand desks” by ScienceDaily
This one is a little less article and a little more of a research study but it’s well worth a read. Researchers are now suggesting that “sitting is the new smoking” so the University of Pittsburgh decided to run 53 studies on sit-stand desks so they could publish their findings on the health benefits. In the study, they found that sit-stand desks “got participants to sit less and stand more and that the device made users more comfortable at work” which backs up my thoughts on a standing desk encouraging users to be more active in their working day while using one.
They also found small decreases in blood pressure and low back pain relief during their studies which are promising that by making this a major change to your working day, you could see more benefits to your health by using a standing desk.
4. “Standing Desk Research Reinforces Benefits of Standing” by SteelCase
A new study in 2021 called “Stand Up to Work” found that height-adjustable desks helped productivity, and concentration and improved overall health over a 12-month period – hurrah! I love this from SteelCase about this study because sometimes I find reading the studies themselves to be a little confusing. SteelCase highlight all the key points for us and make it more digestable. I also love that this is one of the longer studies you can find on standing desks and it does prove health benefits are there when you make this change long term!
The duration of the study is noted in the study itself, so it seems the Science world is all too aware they need to study this over longer periods of time to let us know the benefits of standing desks!
5. “Standing Desks: How They Help You Beat Inactivity” written by Stephanie Watson, reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD
I try to avoid WedMD when Googling health symptoms because it can send me into a state of terror but when I saw this article was reviewed by someone with an actual qualification within the medical industry, I decided it was worth a read. I like the simplicity of this article which outlines the pros, the cons, and the correct way to stand at your standing desk. Most importantly, I think it’s worth noting the cons which include leg and foot pain. This is something I’m yet to experience and I think it’s because I am wearing trainers and walking on my under desk treadmill for the duration of time I am using my standing desk. I have heard of others (who just use a standing desk on its own), using balance boards, anti-fatigue mats, and special shoes to combat this. But it’s still worth noting and ensuring you have a plan if you decide to use your standing desk for long periods at a time.
I’ll keep adding to this list as I find more relevant articles to add. Hey, maybe I’ll even have some of my own to add one day!