How Does This Standing Table Work for You?

Some of us have switched to a table while standing or walking to avoid the potentially damaging effects of sitting all day . But these tables cannot be a panacea for several reasons.

First, even if people who sit all day are less healthy, this cannot mean that a standing or walking table will improve your health. Several experts were skeptical about the Boston Globe article :

“Standing all day is not an option,” said Alan Hedge, professor of design and ergonomics at Cornell University. “This is where we were 100 years ago and we needed to design chairs to prevent curvature of the spine, back pain and varicose veins.”

Standing still burns a few more calories as our hearts work harder to circulate blood upward, which also puts more stress on our veins, back and joints, especially if we are overweight.

“Research has yet to determine how much of a standing position is beneficial to health,” said Dr. Ai-Ming Lee, a junior epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who has studied the risks of sedentary behavior. In population-based studies, researchers were unable to determine whether the health benefits of reduced sitting time are a result of greater movement or immobility. And results on whether exercise reduces health risks while sitting are conflicting.

Another hiccup can occur if you look at the effect of walking while working not on your body, but on your work. A small studypublished in PLOS One found that people at the desks of a treadmill performed worse on learning, attention, and typing tests. However, the subjects were not used to running on a treadmill, so the effects may be temporary.

When I tried to stand at the table, it became more difficult for me to think. Again, maybe I should have tried this for over ten minutes.

If you’ve tried a non-sit-down table, how did you like it? Was the transition period difficult and how long does it take to get through it? Be sure to tell us how long you’ve enjoyed using the table, or if you’ve left, tell us why!

Photo by Kieran Jonnalagadda .

Vitals is a new blog from Lifehacker dedicated to health and fitness. Follow us on Twitter here .


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