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  • Writer's pictureBlake Loxtercamp

Is a Standing Desk Helpful for Pain?

Updated: Aug 3, 2022

The new craze in standing at your desk has many asking if standing is for them, and how long should they stand for? Does everyone need a standing desk?

A recent study came out from The British Journal of Sports Medicine with the title of

“Associations of occupational standing with musculoskeletal symptoms: a systematic review with meta-analysis.”

The full Abstract can be found here:

The essence of the study’s findings are outlined in the objective and conclusion here:

Objective Given the high exposure to occupational standing in specific occupations, and recent initiatives to encourage intermittent standing among white-collar workers, a better understanding of the potential health consequences of occupational standing is required. We aimed to review and quantify the epidemiological evidence on associations of occupational standing with musculoskeletal symptoms.

Conclusions The evidence suggests that substantial occupational standing is associated with the occurrence of low-back and (inconclusively) lower extremity symptoms, but there may not be such an association with upper extremity symptoms. However, these conclusions are tentative as only limited evidence was found from high-quality, longitudinal studies with fully adjusted models using objective measures of standing.

The key takeaways from this study, the interviews I have performed, and our experience are as follows.

  • You don’t NEED to have a stand-up option; you just need to move regularly.

  • Standing too much can cause low back pain and leg pain.

  • The body is designed to sit and stand throughout the day. There are many ways to get your standing throughout the day without the need for a sit-to-stand option.

  • Sit-to-stand options can be useful and make the ability to stand more readily available. If you do have this options, here is what you need to look out to ensure proper utilization.

  • Most start at 15-20 mins within the hour in the beginning then it grows.

  • 4-6 hours per day after 30 days.

  • Start off slowly- taking breaks.

  • Listen to your body.

  • Avoid rigid shoes when you are standing. I recommend going barefoot if possible.

  • Standing for 8 hours straight without moving is no better than sitting. Make sure you move. Do some squats, high knees, and push ups periodically throughout the day.

If you want to see how chiropractic can help with pain and injury, book an appointment with Chirostrength Twin Cities at 612-314-0268.

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