The less we sit at work, the better it is for our health.

Should You Get a Standing Desk? Yes! Here’s Why

Standing desks are becoming more and more popular because we now know that the less we sit, the better it is for our health and fitness. Studies have linked prolonged sitting and sedentary behavior with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

And sitting can contribute to repetitive strain injuries as well.

I have a standing desk myself and have found it makes a big difference to my energy level and concentration. Before, I had a tendency to just plop down, and my energy level would instantly drop. Now that I have a standing desk I’m constantly moving and that kinetic energy helps me keep going throughout the day. I get more done because I’m more alert and I don’t check out or get tired.

Then there’s there’s the fitness aspect. When I first converted to a standing desk, I did my own little test, using my FitBit and I found I added between 1000 and 1500 steps a day!

A few tips that have worked for me:

—Put a rubber mat under your desk to absorb the impact. This will help prevent plantar fasciitis and other foot problems from standing all day.

—Don’t just stand in a fixed place but move around, even if it’s just stepping from side to side or shifting your weight. Our bodies naturally want to sway and move so just follow your instincts.

—Use a headset when talking on the phone so you can walk around your office more easily.

—If possible, get an ergonomic consultation to check your positioning and posture.

I’ve had a standing desk for two years now and I’d never go back. And if one of my employees inquires about getting a standing desk, I don’t think twice, I say go for it. I can’t see it being bad for anyone. If a standing desk isn’t practical for your work situation, you can accomplish some of the same goals by taking frequent short breaks to stretch and walk around.

Kristine Lee, MD, is Assistant Chief of Medicine, Population Care and Chief of Chronic Conditions Management at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. Her special interests are health maintenance and disease prevention. A mother of two, Dr. Lee prioritizes the health and fitness of her family by making sure they do plenty of outdoors activities together. Her fitness activity of choice is Les Mills BodyPump workout classes. Born and raised in Honolulu, Dr. Lee attended medical school at the University of Hawaii and trained part-time at Kaiser Permanente Honolulu before joining the staff of Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.