• May 22, 2023
  • Michael White

Are sit-stand desks better for health?

The sale of sit-stand desks is being estimated to grow by more than 60% by 2028, according to research.

Researchers believe that as more people choose a healthier lifestyle, they want to avoid sitting for long periods.

With the increasing drive towards automation, fewer people today have manual jobs than in the past. And that means a lot are working from desks rather than out on the shop floor.

Evidence shows that sitting for long periods is bad for health. According to Dr Charlotte Edwardson, Associate Professor in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the University of Leicester, reducing sitting time improves health.

She says in conclusion of her research: “Reducing sitting time improves health in office workers. Measures including height-adjustable desks are an effective intervention on well-being at work.”

Such is the benefit of standing at desks, the World Health Organisation has created guidelines to help reduce sedentary behaviour.

Meanwhile, Dr Robert Shmerling, writing for Harvard Medical School, points to research that found that using a standing desk burns extra calories. But he also suggests that a mix of sitting and standing is most beneficial, especially when you first buy a sit-stand adjustable desk.

What do sit-stand desks do?

Sit-stand desks are height adjustable desks that provide flexibility for any user. They help the user maintain a natural posture and can be raised or lowered to suit the height of the person using it.

The workstation is fully flexible because it means the individual using it can decide to sit or stand. It gives people the chance of switching position during the working day.

When standing, remember to adjust the desk top so your back is straight. Don’t slouch! Just like sitting, the top of screen should be in line with your eyes and your arms should be at a 90-degree angle.

Are sit-stand desks better for health?

As we’ve already mentioned, standing burns more calories than being seated. In fact, it burns about 100-200 calories an hour, compared to 60-120 when sitting.

Other benefits include:

  • Improves posture: Sitting puts pressure on your back and discs, leading to shoulder, back and neck discomfort. Standing will reduce pressure and improve posture.
  • Reduces back pain: Poor posture means you increase the chances of back pain. Having a chair that correctly supports you ergonomically will help you. Mixing sitting with standing means you are more likely to reduce back pain.
  • Energy burst: The journal Applied Ergonomics analysed 53 studies and found that a sit-stand desk encouraged workers to spend more time on their feet. Researchers found that 66% of workers felt more productive and 87% felt more energised by spending just an hour of their day standing.
  • Great for circulation: Airlines suggest you wear flight socks for long haul trips for a reason. Staying in a seated position for hours can lead to a blood clot. And yet, many people sit for hours on end at work without flight socks – which is understandable as they’re not the most fashionable item! But reduced circulation could lead to future problems. Standing means we move our legs more often and that helps boost circulation.
  • Boost your focus. A study by Texas A&M University found that people who stood at work at a call centre were 50% more productive.

What to look for

There are many types of adjustable sit-stand desks and platforms that help you stand at work.


The first way you can stand to work is by using platforms that rest on your current desk. They’re handy if you have a home office and don’t want to spend too much. Such platforms are usually portable, meaning you can get the right position if you’re a hybrid worker, too. No matter which desk you use, the set up will be correct.

Adjustable desks

Sit-stand desks look like a traditional desk but, as the name suggests, they are adjustable. Powered by electricity, it’s the safest way to raise and lower the workstation. You won’t have to risk knocking the contents on the floor and won’t injure yourself in the process.
Such desks are perfect in home offices if you work from a desk all day and in offices. Being adjustable they’re perfect for hot-desking and co-working offices.

There are exciting new developments in sit-stand technology. Our friends at UNIO have patented an exciting new sit-stand desk with a built-in screen. The screen and desktop can be adjusted separately until the correct posture is found. Once adjusted, both screen and desktop can be lowered or raised in unison. That means if you mix standing or sitting in the working day, the workstation will always be perfectly set up for you.

The UNIO workstation

How to choose a sit-stand desk

It’s always worth talking to a professional who before choosing a sit-stand desk. At UNIO, we can give you free advice. So contact us today for details.

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