These days it can often be a challenge to find reliable, trustworthy health information.
Thanks to our instantaneous access to “Dr. Google,” as well as a barrage of “health experts” who dominate the internet, airwaves and magazine covers, hawking the latest supplements and fad diets, it’s easy to be led astray with bad information.
Worse yet, one year a food is bad for you, and the next year it’s the proverbial fountain of youth.
Fortunately, cool heads and common sense usually prevail. For example, we know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a better choice than opting for junk food. Going for an evening walk will typically be healthier than zoning out on the couch. Finally, when you need medical guidance, it’s usually best to ask an expert.
Such is the case with standing desks. There’s a lot of noise out there regarding ergonomics, and what’s best for your health and what isn’t. Fortunately, sound advice can be found by consulting the experts; specifically, medical doctors and licensed chiropractors.
Following are five examples of medical professionals who recommend standing desks, and why:
1. Dr. James Levine, M.D., Ph.D.
You can’t mention the health benefits of standing desks without also mentioning the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Levine. As the person largely credited with coining the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” Levine has been on a personal crusade to battle the obesity epidemic, largely by raising awareness of what he believes is a primary cause: sedentary behavior. In this article Dr. Levine authored for Scientific American, he describes how “desk jobs ruin your health” and cites a study he conducted where conventional desks in a school were replaced with standing desks. Based on the results of this study, he said, “…enrollees in schools that promote movement are twice as active as those attending traditional schools. Educational test scores also improve by about 10 percent, and their hormone levels were in healthier ranges.”
2. Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.
Another Mayo Clinic medical doctor, cardiologist Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, is also an advocate of standing desks. He predicts one-day that standing desks, treadmills, stationary bikes, and other chair alternatives will be available not only in offices, but in schools, movie theaters, conference centers, and more. CNN quoted Dr. Lopez-Jimenez as saying “The reason [standing is beneficial] is because when we stand there are many muscles in our legs and butt and abdomen that are working to keep you standing. Whenever a muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides.” The article also mentions that standing offers the potential for lower cholesterol, as well as lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.
3. Dr. Seth Hosmer, D.C.
In his blog, Dr. Hosmer of Portland’s Hosmer Chiropractic Health not only recommends standing desks for his patients, he uses them in his clinic. He cites an array of benefits that include increased metabolism, core activation, torso support, enhanced productivity from improved blood flow and alertness, better posture, less pain, and improved mobility. In Hosmer’s words, “…the benefits of standing versus sitting can be dramatic.”
4. SF Custom Chiropractic
Serving the people of San Francisco with three locations, SF Custom Chiropractic is also a proponent of standing desks. In this article on their website they echo many of Dr. Hosmer’s statements, while also citing studies that showed a whopping 54% reduction in upper back pain, simply by switching to a standing desk for 1-3 months.
5. Benjamin Franklin
Okay, so he wasn’t a doctor in the traditional sense, but he was often called “Dr. Franklin” because he held honorary doctorate degrees from Oxford University and the University of St. Andrews. More to the point, according to the Harvard Medical School, he was an avid user of the standing desk, as were other notable historical figures including Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, and Winston Churchill. While at the time, they didn’t have the medical research to back up their use of standing desks, clearly they were on to something!
Standing Desks: Endorsed by the Experts
From reduced back pain to improved cardiovascular health, increased productivity and alertness, many medical professionals agree that standing desks can improve your health and well-being. As such, a standing desk converter or an adjustable height desk should be seriously considered as an effective and important part of your personal health and wellness program. You can also add ergonomic desk accessories such as a floor mat, active sitting chair, and footrest to maximize comfort and reduce fatigue throughout your workday.