New research out of Australia says using a standing desk for extended periods of time can lead to “significant” discomfort and mental sluggishness.
When researchers from Curtin University studied 20 adults who stood for two hours doing computer work, they found the desks were not as beneficial as once thought.
Even though the study group was small, scientists made significant observations published in the journal Ergonomics. “Over time, discomfort increased in all body areas,” they said, but they noted that “creative problem-solving improved.”
Standing desks have been touted as a healthier way for office workers ─ who spend hours hunched over their keyboards ─ to improve posture, reduce aches, and even help lose weight.
But the Australian researchers concluded that “prolonged standing should be undertaken with caution.”
"The bottom line is that this expansion [of standing desks] has been driven more by commercial reasons than scientific evidence," Alan Taylor, a physiotherapy expert at Nottingham University, told the Daily Telegraph.
"But the evidence is catching up and it's showing there are some drawbacks," he concluded.