To stand or sit?
Standing desks are marketed as ways for workers to maintain focus by standing instead of sitting while at their desks. However, a new study suggests that the downside of standing desks outweighs the benefits.
Researchers at Curtin University in Australia had 20 volunteers work at a standing desk in a laboratory for two hours while the team monitored their physical discomfort and cognitive function.
All of the volunteers reported physical discomfort in all areas of their body that increased the longer they stood. All of the volunteers also said that their mental state decreased the longer they stood in front of their screens.
Sustained attention reaction time deteriorated while creative problem solving improved, according to the study's metrics.
"Body discomfort was positively correlated with mental state. The observed changes suggest replacing office work sitting with standing should be done with caution," the authors of the study concluded.
Previous studies have also revealed that sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to worker health.