Standing Desks for Back Pain
With the surge in remote work, the burning question on everyone’s mind is: ‘Should I invest in a standing desk to help with my back pain?’ But does a standing desk truly benefit back pain sufferers?

Is standing actually better than sitting?

As a physiotherapist who focuses on back pain, I often confront misconceptions about posture and its impact on spinal health. While standing desks offer an alternative to sitting, evidence doesn’t distinctly favour standing over sitting when it comes to easing back pain.

Look to avoid static postures

While I don’t see huge benefit in a standing desk, I do often recommend an adjustable sitting-to-standing desk. Why? Because these desks provide versatility, allowing users to switch between sitting and standing while also offering adjustable height settings for varied work postures.

The key consideration is this: the back doesn’t like holding static postures for long periods of time. It’s not that sitting is ‘bad’ and standing is ‘good’ – but holding any position for too long is most likely to be irritating to your back.

Variability of posture is king!

The primary advantage in a sit to stand desk lies in the ability to modify your workstation’s height, facilitating a range of postural variations. This allows regularly moving between postures, distributing strain across different body parts.

What about the ‘dangers’ of sitting?

When it comes to overall health, it is true that standing shows slight improvements over sitting in various health markers. While these benefits might seem modest over short periods, the cumulative impact over years might yield noteworthy health dividends.

However, let’s not overemphasise this benefit; it’s statistically significant but relatively modest. Consider it as an additional health advantage rather than a sole reason to invest in a standing desk.

A useful tool – not a complete solution

An adjustable desk isn’t a panacea for back problems but can form a part of your back pain management strategy. Deliberately seeking a range of balanced and comfortable postures throughout the day can alleviate undue spinal strain. Additionally, prolonged usage might offer minor but meaningful enhancements to overall health.


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