Standing desks can be key to improving poor desk posture and mitigating chronic body pain associated with sitting during the day. But people may not be aware that standing desks may also help add to your fitness abilities over time, and more importantly, keep you more energized and focused throughout the entire workday. And you don’t even need to be standing continuously from 9 to 5 — in fact, the best strategy for optimal results might be frequently transitioning between standing and sitting throughout your day, says Chad Henriksen, M.D., the director of WorkSiteRight at Northwestern Health Sciences University.
“Experts have known for some time that increasing low-level activity provides health benefits compared to sitting for a prolonged time in a fixed position,” Dr. Henriksen explains. “Alternating between [sitting and standing] balances the negative effects of either standing or sitting throughout the entire workday.” Published research is conflicted on how standing desks improve your focus and productivity throughout the day, and how often you need to stand to reap any benefits; but a 2016 case study discovered some immediate reported benefits from those at a desk during the workday. The best productivity boost was enjoyed by those who frequently alternated in sitting and standing throughout the day, with a reported 50% boost in productivity in six months.
If you’re feeling less productive while working at home and think your current work set-up has something to do with it, a standing desk (or a standing desk adapter) may help you. “I recommend sitting for no longer than 20-30 minutes,” Dr. Henriksen says, adding that those with serious injuries or health concerns should discuss a standing desk with their doctor first. You should also be implementing “micro-break” stretching and movement while at home, he explains.
With the help of Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and Director of Engineering in the Good Housekeeping Institute, and Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, GHI’s registered dietitian and NCCPT-certified personal trainer, we’re sharing the best standing desks on the market today. We’ve tested and reviewed expert-approved standing desks that are fully customizable, including options at multiple price-points, sizes, and convenience for any space you have in mind. Shop the best performing standing desks and top-selling models below.