Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A Google Canada employee at work at the new Google Canada offices in Toronto on November 12, 2012. Staff has the option of having a sitting or standing desk. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
A Google Canada employee at work at the new Google Canada offices in Toronto on November 12, 2012. Staff has the option of having a sitting or standing desk. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

How much does a standing desk really help my health? Add to ...

The question: I am thinking of investing in a standing desk. Do you think it is worth it?

The answer: Standing desks seem to be the current health rage. As a rule, I don’t love promoting It products. That said, since I am a huge fan of anything that helps people sit less, if you or your company can afford to invest in a standing desk, go for it!

More Related to this Story

If a standing desk is too expensive, make your own. Be creative – use a filling cabinet or a high counter.

Just remember, no product offers a miracle health fix. Standing doesn’t magically improve your posture, or make it okay to work for long periods without a break.

Further, most people stand with bad posture, and standing for long periods with bad posture, like sitting with bad posture, can contribute to chronic back, hip, ankle and neck pain.

So if you do get a standing desk, assess your standing posture as well as your footwear. Heels can negatively affect your posture. Wear supportive flats. Or, if you absolutely can’t give up your heels, take them off when standing.

Whether you sit at your desk, stand or do a combination of both, take the time to assess the ergonomic setup of your work station, and to become mindful of your body. Schedule breaks to get water, walk around the office and stretch. Aim to become more mindful of your overall daily level of activity, as well as your posture.

Whether you have a traditional or standing desk, set a regular alarm to remind you to take a break, stretch, walk around and have some water.

As you walk around, try what I call the colour exercise: Pick a color – any colour – maybe red. Every time you see red, stop and check your posture.

Trainer’s tip: Aim to accumulate 10,000 steps per day by scheduling lunchtime walks with colleagues, taking the long way around the office when you get water, walking to talk with a colleague instead of phoning them, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Remember: Every bit of movement adds up!

Follow us on Twitter: @Globe_Health

 

Topics:

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular