What is a Standing Desk?

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Updated August 30, 2022

Many people have shifted from a sitting desk to a standing one, but you may ask, “what is a standing desk?” As the name implies, the best standing desk is a table you use in a standing position at home or in the office, with or without a keyboard tray for height adjustments.


  • Standing desks allow you to stand while you work, so you aren’t sitting all day.
  • These models provide several health benefits, including increased metabolic rate, energy, and focus.
  • Standing desk products sometimes cause health problems related to discomfort, muscle pain, and lower limb swelling.

However, some complexities occur for sit-stand desks, and you may want to know more about the benefits. In some cases, you can find additional ways to stay active. For more information, find out how to work standing desk exercise equipment.

What does a Standing Desk do?

A standing desktop provides an opportunity for health benefits uncommon with sitting all day using wood, metal, or laminate desktops, but there are also some detractors from standing all day. To understand the pros and cons of these desks in your workspace, you need to explore their effects on your body and ergonomics.

Insider Tip

Standing desks burn an additional eight calories per hour compared to a sitting model.

With a standing desktop, you can adjust the standing heights to enhance ergonomics at your adjustable desk using your height. However, you must have a good posture to reap the benefits of one of these products fully in your workspace. Learn what is a standing desk’s weight capacity to find out whether you could use one for your office.


People using standing desks in the office see many health benefits. Because of how our bodies respond to standing, you can see increased circulation in your lower limbs and increased muscle usage. Additionally, a standing table burns more calories than sitting and improves shoulder and back pain. Some claim that standing desks have benefits for mental health and memory as well, making their high prices acceptable.

Muscles and Circulation

When you sit all day, your lower body may suffer from decreased circulation from lack of movement, causing additional pain. In addition, because you stand some of the time at a standing desktop or sit-stand desk, you engage muscles that you wouldn’t while sitting.

Calorie Burning

A standing wood desktop burns slightly more calories than a sitting desk, bumping 80 calories an hour to 99 calories an hour. However, this amount remains less than the 210 calories an hour walking burns. Some estimate that the calorie increase is higher, especially in people who are overweight.

Upper Body Pain

You may see a decrease in shoulder and back pain when using these models. This decrease relates directly to the poor posture many people assume when working and sitting. Most people hunch over when they type or work on the computer to get closer to the screen or keyboard. However, improving your posture may help reduce neck, shoulder, and backaches.


Some people warn that there are problems associated with standing for long periods of time. If you immediately jump to using the platform full-time, you could increase your problems. However, a sit-stand desk or an adjustable standing desk may help you get used to these changes. These include discomfort, muscle fatigue, and lower limb swelling. Knowing this, you’ll be able to use your standing desk and make it easier on the knees.

Pain and Swelling

When you stand for an extended time, you could experience swelling and pain related to the blood pooling in your legs while at your desk. This doesn’t mean a standing desk is bad, but standing for long periods can be tough. To reduce this effect, you should move every few minutes to increase your blood flow. Additionally, you should consult your doctor before switching to a standing desktop if you already have issues with your cardiovascular system, specifically circulation.

Muscle Fatigue

Standing engages more muscles than sitting, causing muscle fatigue if you transition to an electric standing desk too quickly. However, your muscles strengthen and adjust as you change your habits, so it is recommended that you gradually work into an adjustable desk. In this case, an adjustable desk standing desk could work better for you.


Your blood may pool in your legs when you stand for an extended period, so you should occasionally move to decrease this effect.


Are standing desks better for you?

An electric standing desk has many benefits for any customer with a desk job, as long as you work into standing more frequently. However, there are some issues caused by improper use or standing too long.

Do you wear shoes on anti-fatigue mats?

Anti-fatigue mats may be used while wearing shoes or without. The mats are designed to be used either way and support your feet.

Why do people want monitor arms so much?

Monitor arms increase your control over where your monitors are on your adjustable desk. For example, if you have several monitors, you can position them on top of or next to each other. You may want an anti-fatigue mat or keyboard tray too.

STAT: Back pain is something that 80% of adults will experience over their lifetimes, and one of the greatest complaints of office workers who are seated all day. (source)

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