Healthy Work Tips

Why The Standing Desk Trend is Not a Universal Solution to Employee Health

Why The Standing Desk Trend is Not a Universal Solution to Employee Health

In the last few years, employers and professionals have become increasingly concerned with the health problems associated with long-term desk work. Coming in and remaining still and seated for eight hours a day, as it turns out, is not great for employee health. At first, only circulation and metabolism suffer as energy goes unburned and blood moves more slowly through the seated position. However, over time this can transform into blood clots, weight problems, muscular deterioration, and a slew of other health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle in less than ideal chairs.

Employers interested in employee health asked themselves: How do we solve this problem while still asking for eight productive hours at a desk each day? Where does the real problem lie? After some research, it was determined that the biggest problem was that so many offices were using old and badly designed office chairs. These contributed to cutting off circulation, pushing employees into bad posture positions, and causing constant mild discomfort. Employees who were given newer, better designed, and comfortably ergonomic chairs perform better and experience fewer seating-related health problems, confirming the suspicion.

The Standing Desk Trend

In response to the success of ergonomic chairs in improving employee health and job satisfaction, many offices decided to take it one step further by eliminating seating entirely with the standing desk trend. This experimental fad suggests that employees who stand instead of sitting all day will have even better circulation and health improvements. This was a very exciting trend that many offices and even teams of employees got into. Desks were replaced with taller desks and for a while, employees enjoyed the freedom to stand. 

Of course, soon enough office staff began to realise that standing for several hours at a stretch isn’t all that exciting. Fatigue mats to reduce foot soreness and swelling became popular and soon a lot of very interesting chair variants at bar-stool height started appearing on the market. As it turns out, even for young healthy professionals only want to stand at work for an hour or two at a stretch before going back to some kind of seating. Lately, it’s not uncommon to see desks that are motorised to adjust between standing and seated height.

Those Who Can’t Stand Comfortably

The fact of the matter is that many people comfortable standing at work or for any length of time. Older employees, employees with physical disabilities, and those who don’t have perfectly aligned legs, hips, and spine all suffer more from a standing desk than any seated occupation. Almost no office has transferred entirely to standing desks for exactly this reason. Statistically, there will be at least one person in every office who simply can’t work standing up and may have chosen a seated career based on this.

Many others may be limited in their standing capacity either temporarily or in a way that may appear only after using a standing desk for a few days in a row. People with flat feet, for instance, may never have to bring this up at work until standing desks are implemented and it’s ridiculous to ask pregnant employees to stand when sitting is an option.

Standing Desks and Ergonomic Chairs – a Complete Solution

Standing desks have absolutely helped some people and the lucky few who are well-suited to standing all day long do experience health benefits. However, the true solution to office circulation, exercise at the desk, and comfortable productivity may well be a hybrid. Ergonomic chairs are perfect for all tasks and employees that require seating while the standing desk height is great for employees who want to exercise or are working retail where activity is constant. Having the option to switch between? A convertible seated-to-standing office desk and ergonomic chairs is the ultimate workplace flexibility.

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