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What are the Health Benefits of a Height Adjustable Desk?

What are the Health Benefits of a Height Adjustable Desk?

By Sam Knijff
- 6 minutes read

Height adjustable desks are a popular fixture in today’s modern office. Not only do they make the transition from sitting to standing a lot easier, constant movement helps the user’s blood circulate better and keeps the mind more active. The consequences of staying seated while you work, in regards to your health, can be devastating. It doesn’t help that a lot of jobs in offices require you to stay seated for prolonged amounts of time, usually hunched over a computer to make it worse! This was not how the human body was designed to spend its time. Being stuck in the same place affects posture and is harmful to the spine. It is very important for office workers to incorporate some movement into their routine.


Other health benefits of a height adjustable desk include:


  1. Decrease in Back Pain – Back pain is a common complaint among office workers. Lower back pain can be caused by physical and psychological stress. Studies have shown that sufferers of chronic back pain benefit a lot from height adjustable desks. Standing up at one of these desks can lower neck and upper back pain by as much as 54%.


  1. Well being Improvement – Studies show that users of height adjustable desks show less signs of fatigue and stress than those that sit at traditional office desks and that standing at their desk made them feel much more energetic overall. It was no coincidence that after the users were told to go back to their seated desk that their moods dropped to what they were prior to the study.


  1. Increased Productivity – One concern of switching to height adjustable desks is that users are unsure of whether they will be able to type as fast while standing or whether it will negatively impact on other tasks. Fortunately, those that have made the switch have confirmed that their ability to do their usual tasks hasn’t changed and if anything has improved due to their improved mood.


  1. Prevents Unhealthy Weight Gain – As you can imagine, staying seated all day isn’t great in terms of burning calories. On average, staying seated can mean you only burn 60-100 calories an hour depending on your weight. Standing at your desk can cause you to burn up to 10 more calories an hour which might not seem a lot but can soon add up.


  1. Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – In 1953 a study was undertaken to compare bus conductors and drivers. It was shown that bus drivers were 50% more likely to develop a cardiovascular disease than the bus conductor. Since then this has been looked into further and it is believed that staying seated can increase the risk of heart disease by 147%. Therefore using a height adjustable desk could impact on this significantly.


  1. Reduction of Blood Sugar Levels – Studies have shown that office employees who stood for 3 hours after they had eaten their lunch reduced their blood sugar level by 43% compared to those that stayed seated. Even alternating between standing and sitting had significantly improved results with blood sugar reduction by 11%. Studies have also shown that frequent prolonged seating can increase the risk of developing type II diabetes by 112%.


  1. Adds Years to your Life – Since increased time standing can decrease the risk of developing life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease and also decreases the likelihood of excessive weight gain, life expectancy can expect to go up by at least 2 years per person.



Advice on Using a Height Adjustable Desk


It is not advisable to suddenly switch from sitting to standing all day. Doing this may increase your risk of pain in your legs, feet, back or neck. Start off standing for 15 minutes increasing to 30 and then to 60 is going to put much less strain on your muscles as they become accustomed to the change. You may want to set an alarm to ensure that your standing is timed just in case you forget!


Although using height adjustable desks increases productivity on the whole, there are some users that find they work better at certain tasks, seated. It’s important for you to ensure what tasks are performed better whilst you’re seated and standing so that your productivity is not negatively impacted.


Employees need to ensure that the height adjustable desk is adjusted ergonomically so that it is comfortable for them to carry out tasks and that they are not strained in any way. With this in mind, users need to ensure the following:


  • They must maintain a good upright posture and not to slouch.
  • Their upper arms should vertically hang downwards.
  • Their upper and lower arm should be at right angles.
  • Head and eye tilt should be at around 30-35 degrees.


At A1 Office Furniture we have a large range of Height adjustable desks in a range of colours including white.


We are the leading supplier of White Office Furniture across the UK and have been supplying businesses since 2012 with high quality and durable white office furniture. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and any questions contact the white office furniture specialist on 0845 450 8095.

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