The standing desk: yea or nay?

Tuesday, October 1 2013
The standing desk: yea or nay?

Offices are always changing as every company relies on a different layout. Where one enterprise might give everyone cubicles, its biggest rival might have an open floor plan to encourage collaboration between workers. 

One of the more recent trends to pop up in offices all across the country is the standing desk. An article published on the American Express OPEN Forum explains that standing up all day can be beneficial from a health perspective as it keeps your muscles active. Additionally, Erica Swallow, the report's writer and a member of the SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board, notes that staying on her feet all day has led to increased core strength and better posture. 

That second benefit can help your appearance when using video conferencing technology. If you're standing up straight, other participants in the remote meeting will think you're attentive and alert. 

Further, standing desks keep you from getting comfortable so that you won't start to slack off in the middle of the day. As a result, you'll focus on your work and become a more productive employee. 

The case against standing
That isn't all to say that standing desks are universally loved and will become fixtures in every office in the near future. Plenty of people are vehemently opposed to the idea of staying on their feet all day. 

For instance, Geoff Dyer, a journalist and author, told The New Republic that after sitting all day, he wants to go home and sit some more. Zoe Heller, author of "Notes on a Scandal," said that sitting is the least worrisome of her bad habits. 

"Besides which, sitting is the least of my writing sins. The cigarette and Diet Coke habit is a much more pressing concern," Heller said. 

There's also the small fact that the health benefits from standing at a desk can also be provided by exercising after work a couple of times per week. After working out, few people choose to keep standing either as they find the nearest place to sit and relax. 

As for how standing desks affect your appearance while using video conferencing software, proper posture is pretty easy to achieve while seated. All you have to do is sit up straight and void slouching. 

The standing desk might be the next big thing in many offices, but it doesn't seem all that practical or beneficial as of right now.