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Standing Desk Statistics

33 Standing Desk Statistics, Trends, and Insights

Since many companies have moved to a remote or hybrid model for their employees, more and more folks are interested in trying out a standing desk.

A stand-up desk promises better health and to rid users of things like back and hip pain. But are standing desks actually helpful?

Check out these statistics and insights to see if a standing desk is just a fad or something that'll be around for a while.

Need an expert quote for your story? We’re happy to help. Contact our Editor & Founder, Geoff Cudd.

Standing Desk Key Statistics & Facts

  1. Office workers sit more than 80% of the workday, placing them at increased risk for many sedentary-related health complications.

Standing Desk Stats 80% Sitting

  1. Sedentary jobs have risen 83% since 1960.
  2. The number of employers offering sit-stand desks and height-adjustable desks for employees has increased by over 30% in the last five years.
  3. A new study of around 8,000 middle-aged and older adults found that swapping a half-hour of sitting around with physical activity of any intensity or duration cut the risk of early death by as much as 35%.
  4. A study conducted by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that people burn about 80 calories per hour while sitting.
  5. While standing, the same subjects burned around 88 calories per hour.

Standing Desk Stats Calories

Standing Desks & Maintaining a Healthy Weight

We want to start by saying that if you’re looking to lose some serious weight in a shorter amount of time, a standing desk isn’t going to cut it.

That being said, long-term positive effects on your health as a whole can lead to a healthier weight.

  1. Walking burned 210 calories per hour, so adding a lunchtime walk can add to burning calories. Consider the WalkingPad A1 Pro [review] for the added health benefits at home.
  2. A 2015 study at the University of Iowa found that employees with adjustable standing desks stood 60 minutes more a day and walked an additional six minutes a day at work, which means:
  3. They burned 87 more calories a day than their sitting co-workers.

Other Health Statistics

Aside from body weight, standing desks can have a positive impact on your overall health. This is because sitting for extended periods of time can lead to some shocking negative health impacts, up to and including death.

Here are the numbers to back this claim up.

  1. A recent study found that excessive sitting may be responsible for over 430,000 deaths.
  2. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, sitting too much corresponds to a 10-20% increased risk of premature death and chronic disease

Standing Desk Stats Chronic Disease

  1. Breaking up a day of sitting with any kind of physical activity reduces the risk of early death, according to a study of 8,000 adults done by Keith Diaz Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University.
  2. During a study, participants' total fatigue score was significantly higher while sitting compared to those sitting and standing.
  3. In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time.

Standing Desk Stats Blood Sugar

  1. Another study involving 23 office workers found that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by 11.1% on average.

Standing Desks & Back Pain

One of the most popular reasons that people make the switch to a standing desk is the promise of reducing back pain.

Sitting all day, especially if you have a poor seated posture, puts a lot of pressure on your hips and lower back. This leads to pretty bad back pain that plagues many folks who work desk jobs.

Here’s how a standing desk could help lessen your back pain.

  1. A standing desk can help improve your posture and take the pressure off your neck and lower back.
  2. A study found that using a standing desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54%.

Standing Desk Stats Reduce Pain

  1. Another study found that lower back musculoskeletal discomfort was significantly reduced during the stand-sit condition compared with the sit condition by 31.8%

The Impact of Standing on Mood

Aside from physical health benefits, standing desks have a surprising effect on raising mood.

These numbers show that a standing desk could alleviate some of the anxiety and feelings of depression many workers face at their desk jobs.

  1. Too much time sitting still is linked to an increased risk of depressive symptoms in adolescents.
  2. Results from a 2012 Australian survey noted that “time spent sitting while using a computer” was associated with more severe depression and anxiety.
  3. A study reported by Psychological Science in 2017 showed that mental processing time for a psychological test was slightly faster in a group of standing study participants versus the group of sitting participants.
  4. A study showed after 12 months, employees with standing desks not only spent less time sitting but also improved their engagement with work, daily anxiety, and overall quality of life.
  5. In one study, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day.

Standing Desk Stats Vigor and Energy

Impact on Productivity at Work

Though there are some serious possible positive impacts that standing desks could offer your health, the bottom line of productivity is also important to take into account.

Does a standing desk help you get more done during your workday? Let’s find out.

  1. In a study of call center employees, those with standing desks were 45% more productive than employees who sat during their shift.

Standing Desk Stats More Productive

  1. A six-month study conducted by Texas A&M University's Health Science Center School of Public Health showed that using a standing desk increased productivity by 23% over the course of the first month and increased by 53% over the last the six months.
  2. 71% of employees in a study who reduced their sitting time by just one hour a day reported improved mental focus throughout the day.
  3. In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for 4 hours each day had no impact on characters typed per minute or typing errors.

Possible Negative Effects of Standing Desks

Although some observed positive effects can come from standing instead of sitting all day at work, there are some questions surrounding the viability and legitimacy of these claims.

There are even a few drawbacks to using a standing desk for too long.

  1. One study showed that after working on computers at standing desks for two hours, study participants reported “discomfort,” “muscle fatigue,” and “lower limb swelling.”

Standing Desk Stats Muscle Fatigue

  1. Participants' reaction times and mental states “deteriorated” over the course of the experiment, although the standing desks did reportedly improve creative problem-solving.
  2. Standing for too long can result in varicose veins, blood pooling in the legs and feet, and swollen and painful feet.
  3. While standing results in more calories being burnt, it won’t help you shed extra pounds quickly.
  4. According to multiple studies, prolonged standing should be undertaken with caution.
  5. Standing desks tend to be pricier, which prevents many people from buying them in the first place.

How to Make the Most of Standing Desks

Ultimately, a sit-stand adjustable desk seems to be your best option if you work in an office-type setting that typically requires sitting all day.

Alternating between sitting and standing minimizes the negative impacts of both while maximizing the positives.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate other healthy choices like walking for a few minutes each hour and taking regular stretch breaks to help counteract the negative health effects that office jobs can have on your body.