Be a standup worker. Just not all the time.
Back in the simpler days of 2015, we wrote an article about the growing preponderance of standup desks. As we wrote then: “Like yellow power ties in the 80s and dotcom business plans written on Applebee’s napkins in the 90s, standing desks have become a hot office trend.”
However, just like other hot trends, (see power ties and dotcom business plans) standup desks may soon hit their peak.
According to recent research mentioned in The Washington Post and The Telegraph, standing up all day may be too much of a good thing. As we mentioned 2 ½ years ago, standing for long periods of time can increase a person’s vulnerability to repetition injuries such as plantar fasciitis or back soreness. But the new research, limited as it is so far, indicates standers also may be more prone to heart disease. From a productivity standpoint, research also indicates cognitive skills may deteriorate somewhat when standing for long periods.
We have long been advocates of standing here at Learning Stream. We have added a lot of popular functionality to our online registration software while standing. In fact, we have a history of beta-testing our own standup apparatuses before finding a manufactured standup device that works great.
But we did not toss out our chairs. It shouldn’t take millions of dollars in research to know there is such a thing as standing or sitting too long.
If you use a standup desk, don’t get too rattled by the latest research. Not should you take this as an excuse to stay seated for eight hours a day. In either case, it is important to move around: Go for walks at lunch or take a quick walk around the office each hour. Further, research is still in its earliest stages. The study cited here was of 20 persons using standup desks. For all we know, a few years from now we’ll be told to work from a prone position, or perhaps while dangling from a tension wire.