Do Standing Desks Help With Back Pain?

Many health enthusiasts now compare extended periods of sitting with smoking. You may see them throw numbers around about how much higher the chances for cardiovascular disease, back pain problems, and overall risk of death increase when a person sits for too long. With this new line of thinking comes fad products: expensive ergonomic chairs, huge bouncy balls, and now, standing desks.

While it’s not a bad thing that we are becoming more aware of the health risks connected with sitting for too long, purchasing anything without doing a good amount of research can also be harmful. If you experience chronic back pain and believe it may be from sitting down for a long time, you might be interested in buying a standing desk. But does a standing desk help cure back pain?

Making a Sudden Shift

One concern some health experts show with switching to a standing desk is how sudden the change of lifestyle can be. We spend most of our lives sitting down: at school, work, and even watching our favorite TV shows or sitting down for dinner at home. While some bodies may adapt to having more weight on their legs, others may open the door to a new wave of risks. Standing for extended periods of time means more pressure on your lower back. This pressure can cause a back pain that is more intense and localized, rather than the dull, general chronic back pain you may be feeling right now.

Changing Behaviors

Another misconception with a standing desk is how it changes your lifestyle and career. For example, a salesperson may not have to be in front of a computer all the time. In fact, if they are allowed freedom to walk around the office, they should take the opportunity as it can lead to stronger focus, higher energy, and overall better mood while talking to a potential lead. If you work in a more creative, introverted field that involves large amounts of reading, writing, or math, you’re still looking at a computer screen most of the time. Because you’re looking at a computer screen, your head and neck will naturally lean forward over time. This leaning forward is what causes poor posture symptoms like hunched shoulders or a crooked neck, which can lead to back pain.

The Root of the Problem

Although sitting down for a long time certainly has its problems, it might not be the primary cause of your back pain. Many people sit down eight hours a day, almost every day, feeling little to no discomfort. What is more likely to be causing your back pain is your posture. If a standing desk can help you break out of those poor sitting habits, and standing for a long time works within your career, then a standing desk may not be a bad investment. However, don’t expect this change of pace to cure your back pain for good. For a more in-depth diagnosis on what medical conditions may be making you feel back pain, contact one of the Spine Institute’s New Jersey offices today to schedule an appointment.