Sitting or Standing?

There has been a lot of hype in the news about standing desks is this all true should we all be rushing out to get standing desks? Let’s explore whether a standing desk is a good idea and more specifically if a standing desk would be a good idea for you. We are going to try to explore the different possibilities and see if the change is worth it for you.

The positives for a standing desk are:

  • Your heart beats faster by 10 beats a minute.
  • Your calorie burned increase by 50 an hour, if you stand for 3 hours 5 days a week that s around 750 calories burnt or over the year an extra 30000 extra calories or 8lb of fat.

“If you want to put that into activity levels,” Dr Buckley says, “then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work (3)

  • Your metabolic risk decreases your risk for diabetes and heart disease is lowered (1)(2)
  • Decreased risk of cancer

On the negative side:


  • If you are pregnant the birth weight of your baby is likely to be lower.
  • Those with restricted movement through their hips and low back will cause a lot of pain to themselves by standing for long periods

Varicose veins are 44% more likely

  • Even for those without joint issues standing for long periods can cause a lot of tiredness and fatigue in your legs especially the calves.
  • Cognitive function does decrease slightly
  • A lot of people have tried and failed at standing desks

In Conclusion

There are a lot of benefits to a standing desk but: you are more likely to get tired, and varicose veins and back ache so my advice would be to try to do a temporary standing desk.

Alternatively the newest invention seems to be sit/stand desks where you can achieve the best of both worlds, prices are coming down from the thousands that they were originally and now there are portable ones as well as more reasonably priced ones like Ikea see below.

Image taken from for full article see below:

sitting to standing desk




(1)Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk.

(2)Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: a cause-deleted life table analysis