Researchers have discovered that sitting is seriously bad for your health. Multiple studies have concluded that sitting for long periods can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, obesity, and early death.
We also know that sitting for long periods can compress the spine and worsen back pain. In fact, many of the people visiting our Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent are dealing with back pain that is directly linked to the amount of time they spend in a chair each day.
One obvious solution for mitigating the impact of excessive sitting is to sit less. Arguably, the best way to achieve this goal is by using a standing desk when working. In this post, I’ll take a look at what the science says about the effectiveness of using a standing desk to relieve back pain.
If you want book a visit with the leading Chiropractor in Stoke on Trent, contact City Chiropractic on 01782 848 184. You can also read on to learn more about how standing desks can reduce back pain.
What is a standing desk?
A standing desk is a desk that allows you to stand while working. Most standing desks are height adjustable, so you can move the desk to a position that is ergonomically correct for your arms, neck, and shoulders. Standing desks have become very popular in the past few years as consumers look for ways to avoid the health problems associated with excessive sitting.
Will a standing desk reduce my back pain?
As a busy Chiropractor in Stoke on Trent, I see dozens of patients who suffer from lower back pain each week. In many cases, these patients are people who spend many hours sitting down each day while at work.
Unfortunately, the prolonged time they spend sitting compresses their spine, which can cause pain and worsen any pre-existing back problems. Sitting for prolonged periods can also affect their posture and cause pain in other areas including the neck and shoulders.
There is some evidence to suggest that a standing desk can help you avoid back pain from sitting. One study found that participants experienced a 32% improvement in lower back pain after using a standing desk for several weeks. Another study conducted by the CDC found that participants enjoyed a 54% reduction in back and neck pain after using a standing desk for just 4 weeks.
However, while these results look very positive, it’s important to understand that standing desks are not a cure-all. While standing more often can improve your posture and take pressure off your lower spine, it will not help with conditions like a bulging disc or scoliosis. These conditions will require medical intervention and possibly a visit to our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent.
Are there any downsides to using a standing desk?
Some of the clients who visit our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent do find it difficult to transition to a standing desk. This is because they are not used to being on their feet for long periods. Don’t be surprised to experience a small amount of pain in the legs, hips, feet, and back during the first few weeks as your body adjusts.
In most cases, this initial discomfort is temporary and the body will quickly adjust. Experts suggest alternating between sitting and standing position many times each day while your body gets used to standing more often.
If you have a heart or vascular condition, care should be taken when standing for very long periods as it can cause varicose veins. Keep a chair nearby and switch between sitting and standing every 10 minutes (or whenever you feel discomfort).
It’s important to remember that you can still suffer from poor posture while standing. Make sure that:
- The screen you are looking at is at an appropriate height, so you can look straight ahead (avoiding poor neck and shoulder posture)
- Your forearms are comfortably rested on the desk and at 45 degrees
- You are standing straight and your spine has a natural curve (make sure you are not leaning over the desk)
- Your feet are on a comfortable, padded surface. This makes it easier to stand straight instead of shifting your weight on your hips.
If you stand with poor posture, you may experience leg, shoulder, neck, back, or foot pain.
Additionally, some people find it more difficult to concentrate when attempting to perform certain creative activities while standing. This is usually due to the minor discomfort they might be experiencing while getting used to standing and goes away after a few weeks.
If you are suffering from back pain and looking our experienced team of chirorpactors are here to help. You can book an appointment with one of our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent at City Chiropractic on 01782 848 184.