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Standing vs. Sitting: Which Is Better in the Office?

It can be difficult to determine whether you should be standing more, or even sitting more, while you work. We're here to help you find the right balance, which is key to a productive workday.

If you have a desk job, you may understand what it's like to deal with neck and back pain after a long workday. Most office workers spend four to five days a week dealing with stiff and aching muscles, and it can begin to seem inevitable.

However, if you understand the benefits of standing vs. sitting at your desk, you can find a balance to keep good posture and combat the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle. This guide will break down the debate between standing vs. sitting in a work environment.

Then, we'll look at the benefits of rotating between standing and sitting so you can make the most out of both.

What Are the Implications of Sitting?

According to the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, people spend more and more time sitting every year. From sitting at your desk for work to binging your favorite shows from your sofa, it can seem impossible to avoid excess sitting time in our modern world. While there's nothing wrong with enjoying some time spent resting, you want to stay active enough to avoid the negative effects of sitting disease.

Sitting disease refers to the drawbacks and dangers of long periods of sedentary time spent sitting down on a near-daily basis. As most full-time employees spend over eight hours per day working, plus nearly three hours watching TV, reducing sitting time at work is a must.

The sitting disease has been plaguing office workers since the 1960s, and health risks include several symptoms. These range from weakened muscles in the lower body and increased risk of injuries to increased weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Similarly, consistent sitting can contribute to mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.

With so many dangers associated with sitting for long periods, you might be tempted to quit your day job and find work as a park ranger. However, a sit-stand desk can help with many of these issues without a major career change.

What Are the Health Risks of Prolonged Sitting?

Now that we’ve covered the general health risks associated with prolonged sitting, it is important to look at the significant health risks, particularly concerning cardiovascular health and broader public health implications.

Extended periods of inactivity can lead to increased risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure. These risks are exacerbated by poor blood circulation and the potential for weight gain, contributing to a sedentary lifestyle that negatively impacts heart health.

From a public health perspective, the cumulative effect of widespread sedentary behavior is alarming. Excessive sitting is not just an individual issue but a societal one, contributing to higher instances of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. It also has mental health repercussions, as a lack of physical activity can affect mood and mental well-being.

Given these risks, public health campaigns and workplace wellness programs increasingly emphasize the importance of regular movement and alternative work setups, such as sit-stand desks and active breaks.

Addressing the issue of prolonged sitting is not just about individual health but about improving overall societal health outcomes. The transition towards more dynamic work environments is a step in mitigating these risks and promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle for office workers.

The Benefits of Standing vs. Sitting

If you spend most of your workday sitting, you can probably relate to some of the drawbacks we highlighted above. Thankfully, spending more time standing can offer health benefits such as:


You don't have to stand up all day to reap these benefits either. A height-adjustable desk allows you to switch between sitting and standing as needed for physical comfort.

Ready to Switch to a Sit-Stand Workstation?

When switching to an adjustable desk, focus on workplace ergonomics and good posture for your sitting and standing setups. If you're switching between sitting and standing, but your posture and ergonomics are lacking, you might not get all the benefits you're hoping for.
Good sitting posture looks like this:
  • Screen at eye level
  • Keyboard roughly at elbow height
  • Knees and elbows bent at 90-degree angles
  • Spine erect with a natural curve
  • Shoulders back and down
  • Feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
Good standing desk posture looks like this:
  • Screen at eye level
  • Keyboard roughly at elbow height
  • Spine erect with a natural curve
  • Shoulders back and relaxed
  • Knees slightly bent to prevent locking knee joints
  • Feet on a level surface with an anti-fatigue or padded mat
Keeping good posture when you switch between standing and sitting helps protect your spine from bad habits like slouching and hunching.

How Can Sit-Stand Workstations Combat Bad Posture and Support Blood Flow?

Sit-stand workstations offer a dynamic solution to combat bad posture and maintain healthy blood flow, two common issues associated with prolonged sitting at traditional desks. By allowing the user to alternate between sitting and standing, these workstations encourage movement and a variety of postures throughout the workday.

This versatility is key in preventing the stiffness and muscular strain associated with bad posture. Healthy blood flow not only enhances physical health but also aids in maintaining mental alertness and productivity.

Moreover, the ability to adjust the workstation encourages users to adopt ergonomically correct positions, whether sitting or standing, further supporting spinal health.

Incorporating sit-stand workstations into office setups demonstrates a commitment to employee health and well-being, reflecting the growing awareness of the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. As part of a comprehensive approach to office ergonomics, these workstations play a crucial role in fostering a healthier, more active work environment.

How Often Should You Stand Instead of Sit?

The Mayo Clinic recommends taking breaks from sitting every 30 minutes to maintain your health and prevent the risks caused by sitting too much. Frequent breaks from sitting are the key to combating a sedentary lifestyle. Adjusting your desk from sitting to standing throughout the day helps you do this without getting in the way of your workflow.
To get the most from your standing desk, try switching between 30 minutes of standing and 30 minutes of sitting. However, if that's too much for you, start by standing for five minutes every 30 minutes, which is all that's needed to interrupt sitting and start protecting your health.
Ultimately, it's not so much about standing vs. sitting as it is about striking a balance between the two. To prevent soreness in the beginning, you might want to limit yourself to one or two 30-minute standing sessions and then add another 30-minute session each week. Keep easing in until you find a good mix between standing vs. sitting, whether it's 50/50 or something else.

Choose a Good Workstation

Purchasing good quality office furniture is an investment in your health and productivity, especially if you're buying it on your own dime. Ergonomics is about more than just posture — it's the science of creating a workplace that meets your body's needs.
Ergonomically designed furniture boasts features that allow you to adjust your desk and office chair to fit you. For a truly customizable office experience, we recommend a height-adjustable standing desk that allows for quick transitions between sitting and standing.
Our Standing Desk is customizable with different sizes, desktop finishes, and leg colors to choose from. It features dual motors and a three-stage lift for quick, smooth transitions between sitting, standing, and back again. You can set and save your optimal heights with precision, creating the ultimate foundation for healthy work.
You'll also enjoy thoughtful details like easy cable organization, a stain-resistant tabletop, and beveled edges to make your workday feel more luxurious. All while lowering the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle and making movement a part of your daily work routine.

Tips for Standing at Work

The debate between standing vs. sitting isn't always about what's healthier — often, it's rooted in convenience and habit. These tips can help you make, and maintain, the change and protect your health:
  • Introduce your standing desk slowly to prevent excessive soreness and fatigue.
  • Try standing while checking your emails or making phone calls.
  • Take active walking and stretching breaks in between chunks of sitting and standing.
  • Use an adjustable monitor arm to keep your screen at eye level.
  • Stand on a padded anti-fatigue mat to protect your joints.
  • Use an ergonomic chair to protect your spine while sitting.
  • Rely on a timer to remind you when it's time to switch between standing or sitting or take a break.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, and take your shoe height into account when adjusting your workspace.
  • Allow yourself to fidget and move around as much as needed to feel comfy.


We recommend talking to your doctor about using a standing desk if you have preexisting health conditions. Likewise, stop using and consult your healthcare professional if you experience pain or discomfort while standing.

How Do Treadmill Desks Integrate Movement Into Modern Workspaces?

While standing at work offers numerous benefits, integrating more dynamic movement into your routine can further enhance your health and productivity. Treadmill desks present an innovative solution to this, seamlessly incorporating walking into the workday.

Treadmill desks are revolutionizing modern workspaces by integrating movement into the daily work routine. These innovative desks allow users to walk at a gentle pace while performing their work tasks, effectively breaking the sedentary cycle.

The low-intensity walking ensures the user stays active without being distracted from work responsibilities. Incorporating physical activity can lead to improved cardiovascular health, better concentration, and higher energy levels.

In contemporary office setups, especially in work-from-home environments, treadmill desks represent a shift towards a more dynamic and health-conscious approach to work.

Sit Less, Stand More

Sitting all day isn't good for anyone, and the less of it you can do, the better. A height-adjustable standing desk makes it easier to sit less and stand more, reducing your risk of sitting disease and its related health risks. As you switch between these two positions, remember to look for the right balance for your comfort and work style.
If you'd like help choosing ergonomic furniture to outfit your office, our Design My Office quiz can do the work for you. We'll ask you questions and create personalized recommendations for everything from a small home office to large corporate workspaces.

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