You are reading this article probably because you are confused about deciding between a standing and a regular sitting desk. You must have read the pros and cons of both and now you probably want to know which is better for your back. Sitting desks are not good for your back and cause a lot of problems. Standing desks seem to solve this problem as they allow to give the body more movements, better posture, and good blood circulation. Read the complete article to know why sitting is bad and how standing desks are better.
Causes of Back Pain
Before choosing the right desk for yourself, you must be aware of the causes of back pain. There are a lot of reasons behind it, some of which include the following:
Poor posture is the major reason behind back pain. Sitting in a drooping position with head and shoulders bent forward also called slouching is at the top of the list of back pain. Sitting on a bed instead of a desk and in the worse cases lying on your belly while using a laptop and similarly bending forward suddenly are included in the poor postures that bring you nothing except back pain. These postures put a strain on your back and pain the muscles. You might be supporting your back pain outside the workspace by walking in a hunched manner or lowering the neck more than needed while doing the dishes.
Degeneration or shrinkage of the back muscles causes a lot of pain. There can be many reasons behind it and most of the time it is difficult to identify the core reason. Malnutrition or majorly the deficiency of Vitamin D, age, or lack of sufficient physical activities makes the muscles useless. It can be directly related to the use of a sitting desk for a long period of time. Sitting for longer hours put a lot of pressure on the back muscles and damages them.
If you have continuous back pain and if any other family member probably from your parents or siblings has the same issue too, then you have got back pain in your DNA. Back then geneticists said that the occurrence of back pain among family members has been observed quite frequently but there is not enough evidence that can support this fact. Recently, another report has been published that states that 3 genes are linked to back pain. One of them is associated with embryonic development while the other two are strongly associated with a slipped disc and spinal cord development.
Other Medical Conditions
Besides these, there can be many other medical problems. There can be a tumor in the spine that can progress into cancer. Spondylosis can cause a vertebra to slip from its original place. Kidney stones and arthritis can be reasons too. A disk can break down due to falling or other incidents pressing on the nerves that cause a sensation of severe pain. There is a long list of medical conditions causing back pain.
In case of getting back pain from some medical conditions, you need to consult a doctor. He will probably prescribe you some painkillers and might advise using specialized products such as a massager or a mattress. In case it is a genetic problem, you might only be able to reduce the pain but cannot prevent it permanently as you cannot control your genetics. But you can definitely prevent muscle atrophy as well as improve your posture to prevent back pain. There is a single solution to both these problems, which is a standing desk.
How do Standing Desks help With Back Pain?
While sitting desks can degenerate the muscles due to the lack of movements, standing desks can save you from this hazard. Similarly, while sitting a person can easily change his posture resulting in back problems. It can also be avoided using a standing desk.
- The foremost thing why a standing deskis preferred is the correction of the body posture. While standing with having the screen exactly at eye level, one is less likely to hurt his back as well as neck.
- Standing reduces the pressure on the back. Some of this pressure is divided on the legs. If you are using a standing desk stool and are supporting your pelvis with it, the pressure will be reduced further.
- Standing still is not possible, so you will probably change the position of your feet from time to time and give your body some freedom to move. It prevents contact stress and makes you feel at ease.
- Moving the body improves the flow of blood. Muscles get proper oxygen and keep working without paining.
Is There any Evidence for Standing Desks Easing Back Pain?
Why would we talk about it without having some solid evidence? In 2016, a study was directly aimed at learning whether sit-stand desks can lower back pain or not. Participants with chronic lower back pain were enrolled in this observational setting for 3 months. Feedback was taken on a weekly basis and a significant decrease in the pain was reported. Back in 2011, another study was made in which the sitting time of the workers was reduced by 66 minutes per day for 7 weeks. 54% reduction in the lower back pain and in the neck pain was reported. Mood states were also found to be improved.
How to Use a Standing Desk Rightly?
If you don’t know how to stand at the desk in a proper way, you just wasted your money by buying a standing desk. First of all, you need to keep your posture right.
- Make sure the desk is at the level of the elbow.
- Keep the wrists at 180 degrees to the forearm.
- Keep elbows close to the body.
- Keep your head straight so that the ears should be above the shoulder.
- Shoulders should not be hunched.
- The screen should be at eye level.
- Keep all the necessary things within reach.
- Use an anti-fatigue mat to be more comfortable.
- Use a standing desk stool to work in a neutral position.
- Instead of buying a permanent standing desk, buy the one with a height-adjustable feature. It allows one to sit down as standing for long hours can cause heel pain.
Bonus: Tips to Get Rid of the Back Pain
- Use a lumbar pillow to get the posture right.
- In case there is inflammation in the affected area, use ice as it relieves inflammation.
- If there is no inflammation yet there is severe pain, you can use heating pads. They dilate the blood vessels and normalize the circulation.
- Contact a physiotherapist to get a massage.
- Consider practicing some stretches while working as they help in strengthening the body.
- Consider yoga in the late evening.
While deciding on the right desk for your back, choose the standing desk with a height-adjustable feature. Regular sitting desks are not good for your health, especially for your back. They cause back pain due to poor posture and other complications like muscle atrophy due to the lack of movements. Standing desks allow you to move the body improving blood circulation. They also improve your posture reducing pressure and thus pain in the back.