But new research suggests that using standing desks may actually not be so good. A study recently published in the journal Ergonomics and reported by the Telegraph suggests that standing at a desk for a prolonged period of time will create “discomfort and deteriorating mental reactiveness.” The study, conducted by Curtin University in Australia, isn’t that comprehensive — only 20 people were part of it. But it adds to other, more extensive research that has shown the negative effects of standing too long causes back discomfort and the swelling of veins. Last fall, Newsweek reported on a 12-year study of more than 7,000 office workers in the American Journal of Epidemiology that found people who often stood at work were nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as opposed to those that sat more often.
“The bottom line is that this expansion [of standing desks] has been driven more by commercial reasons than scientific evidence,” said Alan Taylor, a physiotherapy expert at Nottingham University. “But the evidence is catching up, and it’s showing there are some drawbacks.”