According to research conducted by the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, in an examination of studies compiled by the Applied Ergonomics Journal1, one of the main benefits of a standing desk is that it encourages workers to spend less time sitting down. In the UK, according to the SMART Work and Life programme2, 87% of employees felt more invigorated and energised taking part in the scheme, which promoted standing and spending less time sitting down at work. 

Even spending just one less hour a day sitting down enables workers to feel more productive, less tired, and more focussed. With this in mind, more companies are promoting healthy workforces by investing in standing desks that are adjustable, enabling workers to work from home or in the office and alternate between sitting and standing. In this article, we look at the many health and wellbeing benefits of a standing desk.

Standing desk health benefits

Although the research is still in its infancy, figures are indicating that there are many health benefits of a standing desk. Many people who work in offices or at home using computers can easily spend eight hours a day just sitting down. 

This can place extra strain on the body and raise the risk of obesity, body fat around the waist, unhealthy cholesterol levels and high blood sugar. Here are some standing desk health benefits.

Burn more calories

If you burn more calories by standing up rather than sitting down, this can prevent weight gain. According to a standing-based office work study3, a worker can burn an extra 170 calories a week just by standing up rather than sitting down at a desk. 

That adds up to nearly 1000 calories a week, and is one of the major benefits of a standing desk vs sitting. Using a standing desk could therefore help people with conditions like metabolic disease.

Standing lowers blood sugar levels

In a study of 10 office workers3, standing for an hour and a half after lunch reduced blood sugar spikes by 43% when compared to those sitting down after lunch for the same amount of time. 

The health benefits of a standing desk were also highlighted in another study of 23 workers4, which showed that switching between sitting and standing every half an hour reduced spikes in blood sugar by an average of 11.1%. This could be beneficial to people who have diabetes, insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes.

It boosts mood and energy levels

The ‘Take-a-Stand’ project was a research initiative conducted among employees with sedentary jobs in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Findings from the project5 showed that 87% of workers using standing desks felt like they had more energy to last the working day. 

Overall mood levels were also improved, and participants claimed that they were less stressed and felt less tired throughout their working day. This was based on workers sitting for less time during work, at an average of 66 minutes per day.

Ergonomic benefits of standing desks

Using a standing desk can also offer a number of ergonomic benefits when it comes to posture and positioning of the body.

Aiding wrist position

If wrist positioning isn’t correct when typing, a worker can notice that their wrists become strained. In the long term, this could lead to potential repetitive strain injury (RSI), or carpal tunnel syndrome, which happens when a nerve becomes ‘pinched’ within the wrist. By using a standing desk, a worker can keep their arms at a 90-100 degree angle position.

Plus, although this may not be one of the direct ergonomic benefits of a standing desk, having your wrists at a 90-100 degree angle can lead to quickened and improved typing speeds, aiding productivity.

Improved blood circulation

Sitting for long periods can cause blood clotting. When we stand or move around, this improves the function of our legs, core strength, and balance, and keeps the blood moving around our body. 

According to a study of people who sat for long periods of time6, some had shorter life spans because of their sedentary lifestyles and the pressure placed on their circulatory system and heart by too much sitting. One of the many benefits of a standing desk is that it keeps blood circulation in check, especially if you complete standing desk exercises throughout the day.

Benefits of a standing desk for posture

There are many benefits of standing desk posture, including putting less pressure on your spine, lower back, and disks. In turn, this can help alleviate shoulder, neck, and general back pain. Regularly standing at a desk can train the back muscles to become more comfortable and used to this position.

To get the best ergonomic benefits of a standing desk, make sure you know how to use the standing desk properly. the monitor should always be positioned at eye level, at a 20-degree angle, and at a space of about 20 inches from the face. Arms should be bent at 90-100 degree angles, and wrists should be comfortably able to hover above the keyboard, with wrist rests available. Weight should be spread in proportion across both legs when standing.

Relief for back pain

A comfortable chair with good lumbar support can help back pain when sitting for long periods of time. Back pain is one of the most common problems experienced by workers who sit down all day. But, a study has shown7 that using a standing desk can improve back pain by up to 32% (if used for several weeks). One of the major benefits of a standing desk is that it can reduce upper back and neck pain in as little as 4 weeks5.

Help reduce spine curvature

It may be surprising, but one of the main posture benefits of a standing desk is that it places less pressure on the lower spine, which is typically caused by sitting. Over time, the spine can slowly start to form a curve in certain areas, which is called lordosis. It can lead to chronic back and neck pain, and other health issues linked to poor posture. By investing in a standing desk, it is possible to reduce the strain experienced by the spine, allowing it to remain straight.


Standing desks have plenty of health benefits to offer workers. While the research surrounding them is still relatively new, there are many indications that even standing for just an hour more per day can have a great impact on overall health and wellbeing. A standing or adjustable desk gives a worker the flexibility to work how they choose while reducing their risk of obesity, poor posture, and heart disease.


1 Applied Ergonomics Journal Study – 

2 Smart Work Life – 

3 Standing-based Office Work Study – 

4 Standing and Sitting Study –

5 ‘Take a Stand’ Study –

6 Leisure Time Spent Sitting Study –

7 Workplace Sitting – 

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