How Standing Desk Could Save Your Health

Studies were conducted to validate the harmful effects of prolonged sitting to health and performance of workers. Sitting for long periods may lead to obesity, changes in metabolic process, increase blood pressure, and excess body fats.

The list even included cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota recommended periodic standing as the solution to counter the adverse effects of too much sitting.


Dr. Alan Hedge suggests the 30-minute rule in sit to stand working programs. This is done by starting with 20 minutes sitting in good posture, 8 minutes in standing desk for sit to stand workstations, and 2 minutes of standing and moving, this includes gentle stretching, walking, and yoga poses.

For one working day, it will give a total of 5 hours sitting, 16 changes of position from sitting to standing, 2 hours of standing, and 0.5 hours of moving. The important thing to remember is the movement created by the 30-minute rule for sit to stand working programs. By following the sit-stand-stretch cycle, workers will be healthy, with full of energy and increase productivity

For beginners, shifting to a standing desk may be awkward and challenging because this will give them a lifestyle change as opposed to the effects of having a sedentary lifestyle. Too much standing will lead to swelling of the legs, varicose veins, and nocturnal leg cramps. These effects can be prevented by the proper use of a standing desk. Posture is important whether standing or sitting. With regards to right posture, Dr. Josephine Chau of Sydney University says to “periodically check every 30-minute interval and determine if you haven’t slumped out of alignment.


Experts recommended the use of standing desks and sit to stand workstations to stop the adverse effects of sitting for a long time. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety or CCOHS provided fact sheets with answers to health and safety at the workplace. This will help workers, managers, supervisors, and the general public to make informed decisions while addressing and resolving practical workplace concerns.

Sit to stand workstations can be troublesome and counter-productive if not used properly. To avoid discomfort while working, either sitting or using the standing desk, workers are encouraged to avoid behind the shoulder line and above the shoulder line. It is recommended to shift feet to face the object. Sometimes, out of laziness, we tend to overreach beyond the point of comfort. This act is outright discouraged.

CCOHS listed basic principles of good job design for standing work. It includes the following:

  • Frequent change in working positions so that working in one position is of a reasonably short duration.
  • Prevent from extreme bending, stretching, and twisting.
  • Designate break time to relax and use it accordingly.
  • Provide information on proper work practices.

The adjustment period is granted to workers after an absence from work. This will allow them to gradually return to a regular work pace.

Periodic breaks in between sitting and standing keep the energy up and high while working. It must be noted that break time allows the workers to relax tired muscles and to move around when muscles are becoming rigid. The movement created by muscles provide fresh blood and oxygen to the brain while enhancing focus and getting things done on time.

It must be noted that a well-designed job and workplace are essential to healthy and safe work. There must be an administration of good work practices. These practices should keep employees comfortable, healthy, and productive. And this will surely create an upbeat working relationship.


Studies continue to indicate that prolonged sitting is considered harmful to health. The worker may develop cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes. This sedentary lifestyle will also affect the worker’s energy, productivity, and will affect group performance as well.

The health benefits of standing lead ergonomists like Dr. Alan Hedge of Cornell University to recommend the use of standing desk to break the sedentary lifestyle. The use of standing desks encourages movement between sitting and standing, and movement activates brain functions.

The inclusion of sit to stand workstations as an innovative office design will positively affect productivity and group performance. Standing desk works best when workers practice proper posture and there is the proper usage of sit to stand workstation. A workstation determines the position a worker can manifest while standing or sitting. If the layout of the workstation is rigid and there is less freedom to move around and to rest in between breaks, the worker may develop health problems.

It is necessary that the job design team will consider the characteristics of the human body and the basic needs of the individual workers. When this fact is ignored, work can cause discomfort and may lead to chronic health problems.


The design of the workplace must be in line with the difference in shapes and sizes of the workers. The design will also provide support for the completion of different tasks. A variety of tasks demands a variety of work surface heights. The following are sample guidelines in using standing workstation appropriately.

Precision work. This include writing or electronic assembly, must be- 5 cm above elbow height; elbow support is needed.

Light work. This refers to assembly-line or mechanical jobs , about 5-10 cm below elbow height.

Heavy work. This type demands downward forces, from 20-40 cm below elbow height.


  • Use the height of the elbow as a guide in adjusting the height of the work according to body dimensions.
  • Organize your work so that tasks are accomplished within easy reach.
  • Always face the task on hand when working.
  • Keep the body close to the work.
  • Adjust the workplace to get enough space to change the working position.
  • Use a foot rail or portable footrest to shift body weight from both to one or the other leg.
  • Use a seat in working, as needed or at least when the work process allows for rest.