The lure of standing desks for those with back pain

Anyone who spends most of their days in an office chair probably knows the stress that comes with it. From that position, the idea of a standing desk may look pretty good: Everything's at an easy-to-reach height and you can walk around freely throughout the day. It might also seem like they provide a good benefit for your back. 

There are conflicting opinions about how useful these desks really are. Last month, Fast Company spoke to University of Iowa assistant professor Lucas Carr about the impact of spending lots of time on your feet. Unsurprisingly, it has both pros and cons as far as health effects go.

"Standing increases caloric expenditure by about 30 percent over sitting," Carr said. On the other hand, the source also quoted him describing the negative aspects of prolonged time upright. "Standing for prolonged periods of time has its own problems, including increased joint pain, swelling, restricted blood flow, stiffness, and fatigue," Carr added.

However, this by no means should suggest that the standing desk is universally bad. Instead, it's up to each person to figure out what's going to be easiest on their spine. In 2014, Gwynn Guilford wrote a piece for Quartz describing her experience switching to a standing desk.

While she developed swollen ankles (or "cankles") and found that standing for too long could be hazardous, Guilford overall preferred standing for the way it helped her focus and kept her in the moment.

If you're ready to make a major change to your routine that could affect your posture, a chiropractor can help advise you. Find a professional today and save yourself from slowly weakening your posture. With a certified doctor, you can more easily find the type of desk that will help you the most.