Standing desks seem great at first. They allow for more activity, promote alertness, and help fight health problems long associated with too much sitting. Yet standing up all the time isn’t as beneficial as it would appear. In fact, standing for too long leads to extremely sore feet in addition to lower back pain. Should you be ready for a standing desk, get one knowing that you should plan to sit for periods or at least vary your standing positions. In fact, there are already studies that show how much time you should spend standing.
The Problem with Standing
Too much of anything is bad, be it naturally good or bad for you. Standing is no exception. Prolonged standing has turned out to be just as hazardous as prolonged sitting. Instead of hurting the heart and promoting obesity, being on your feet all day puts people at risk for back pain, back disorders, and varicose veins. In addition, the ankles swell and the feet hurt (no matter what type of shoes you wear). That being said, two hours of standing up is not a problem. Longer than this, though, and the health issues start to show themselves. While sitting down may relieve the foot pain temporarily, continual foot pain leads to lifelong foot pain.
Finding a Solution
The simple answer to this conundrum is to not stand all day. Buy a leaning stool to use when your body tells you to take a break. These are not the cheapest solution, but they encourage active sitting. However, if a chair won’t fit the area, there are other ways to stay on your feet all day while still reducing the long-term issues.
Without buying anything, you’ll want to make sure you’re always standing with proper posture. A crooked back throws your weight askew, putting pressure on joints and bones that shouldn’t ever be forced to carry your weight around. Secondly, make sure to invest in shoes with arch support and a supportive anti-fatigue mat. Both align themselves to the natural curve of your feet, helping reduce physical fatigue in the muscles so that it remains easy to stay propped up all day. Thirdly, look into a standing desk footrest. This could be as simple as a book or complex as an adjustable, bendable platform. What these do is promote different standing positions throughout the day. By varying your standing position, you allow your various muscle groups to relax so that they don’t stress as hard keeping you upright.
Should you stand all day? No. In fact, you shouldn’t do anything for a non-stop eight-hour time span. Instead, you should aim to vary your positions but they standing or a combination of both. Only by doing this can you avert long term sore feet, while still being able to use your standing desk.
Still, this shouldn’t discourage you from using a standing desk. After all, sitting is considered to be the new smoking.
Got any other solutions for preventing sore feet while using a standing desk? Tell us in the comments below.