Sunday, March 27, 2016

Standing desk is no more beneficial for your health?

Do you often see a standing desk in the office? I heard it has become common in some Western countries, but I have never seen it in Japan or the UK. The only thing I do while standing is to eat sushi at a standing sushi bar in Tokyo.

Standing desk was introduced in the 18th century. It is said Leonardo Da Vinci used one. More recently, since some studies suggested the mortality of long-sitting lifestyle, the standing desk was paid attention again.

The New York Times Magazine: Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?

An observational study conducted in Australia showed that the mortality rate was raised by up to 40% of people who sit over 11 hours in a day, even if they take exercise regularly. However, the duration of follow-up was only 2.8 years in this study. Longitudinal effect of sitting had been hardly proven.

JAMA Internal Medicine: Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222 497 Australian Adults

And now, there is a review of past studies on the influence of standing work style. Surprisingly, the benefit of standing desk at work is very limited, according to the author.

Standing Desks Are 'Fashionable' Without Any Real Benefits, Says Research

The author indicated that intervention studies they examined were poorly designed. As a result, the introduction of standing desks was questionable to reduce the sitting time at work, needless to say about the health outcome.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Workplace interventions for reducing sitting time at work

It is common that many studied are conducted after a new solution was focused. And unfortunately, it is also common many of those studied are not adequately qualified. Especially, issues relating lifestyle and health are difficult to investigate. Large sample size, randomization, and long-time intervention are needed for precise assessment. And they require much money.

After all, is a standing desk cool? I do not think so. It has been proven that immobility for a long time is deteriorating your health. Standing desks cannot be a resolution on this matter. A moving desk, or scheduling with frequent move may be more beneficial.

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