Pros & Cons of Standing Desks


You’ve seen it everywhere in the news and heard all the rage about the health benefits of a standing desk, but how do you really know if a standing desk is right for you? At Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center you can always expect to find new and innovative medical treatment for your foot and ankle health. With that said, you can trust us to provide a balanced perspective on a newer trend in the workplace like a standing desk. In many related articles, you can find studies linking sitting for long periods of time to decreased health. Many studies even state that “sitting is the new smoking,” meaning that leading an excessively sedentary lifestyle can be just as bad for your overall foot and ankle health as a daily habit of smoking cigarettes.

It’s hard to believe, but it has some truth to it! Sitting for long periods of time without stretching or moving your body can lead to several issues over time. These issues can include tightened or weakened muscles, susceptibility to cramping, abnormal pain and discomfort when partaking in physical activity, and even poor circulation. You see the option of a standing desk and might think, wow, if I stand all day then I won’t have any of these issues! This is where it gets interesting. It turns out that standing all day can be almost as bad for you as sitting all day!

Think about it: when you stand all day, what’s taking the brunt of your weight for hours on end? Your feet and ankles! Standing for hours in the same spot can, ironically, create similar issues to sitting all day. Your muscles and tendons become fatigued and painful, your feet might swell and ache, and your ankles become sore. This is especially true for those of us with pre-existing foot and ankle conditions, like plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or a history of ankle injuries. These issues, especially plantar fasciitis and heel pain, will only be further aggravated by standing all day with little to no balance of sitting in between. What now? The answer to this dilemma is simple: balance! If you want to make a standing desk work for you and your body, you have to balance your time standing and sitting to prevent overworking or underworking your feet and ankles while keeping your circulation going strong. Last but not least, a good pair of orthotics will only help make a healthy relationship between your feet and a standing desk more viable. 

Don’t push it - if you feel better sitting for most of the day, that’s okay! Talk to your podiatrist about what might work the best for your feet and ankles. Check out our convenient in-office foot store for tools that can help make a standing desk work for you! Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Michelle Kurlanski in Scarborough, Maine today by calling 207-774-0028.