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Do standing desks help back pain?

We all want to stay healthy and be productive at work. In order to do so, many people are looking for ways to improve their day-to-day life. One of the ways employees have opted for is switching from a traditional desk setup to a standing desk setup, or incorporating more movement into their normal routine during work hours. While there are no medical claims made here, it’s been said that this kind of change can lead to increased productivity and improved physical health. With that in mind, let’s explore how standing desks & increased movement could make an impact on your daily life!

As a general rule, standing desks & increased movement have been linked to reducing back pain. A 2018 study found a 50% decrease in low back pain among patients who used a sit-stand desk & received counseling to improve sedentary behavior compared to a control group with no interventions.     *

As an experienced chiropractor and NBCE physiotherapist with almost 30 years of practice and training as an ergonomist, I am well-equipped to answer your questions on the effectiveness of standing desks in relieving back pain. I have written a book on the subject of sitting and have been featured on national television. I have also created ergonomic seat cushions, orthopedic mattresses, and neck pain sleep pillows to improve posture and comfort while sitting. My latest project, ergonomic seat cushions, was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, giving me confidence in my ability.

man standing at desk working

How Can a Standing Desk Help With Back Pain?  

A standing desk can help with back pain in a few different ways. First, by providing the user with an ergonomically sound posture, it reduces strain on their spine and muscles which can significantly reduce or eliminate existing lower back pain. Second, research has shown that using a standing desk encourages more movement throughout the day which increases circulation, and flexibility, and helps to reduce overall fatigue. Finally, since sitting for extended periods of time can increase pressure within the discs of your spine, a standing desk helps relieve this pressure and prevents further buildup. All of these benefits lead to less stress on your body overall which can help alleviate chronic back pain from both muscular imbalances as well as disc issues.

movement during the day

Movement Throughout Your Day is Vital?

It is critical to move around throughout your day, and a standing desk can be a great way to help with that. The act of standing itself encourages movement more so than sitting, as you will naturally shift your weight from one foot to the other or lean slightly forward or back depending on how tired your feet are getting. This helps reduce fatigue throughout the day which makes it easier to stay focused and productive. Additionally, since most standing desks also have an adjustable height feature, you can switch up how high or low it is depending on your needs at any given time which adds even more variety and movement into your daily routine.

Is a Standing Desk Right for Everyone?

No – you should talk to your doctor if you are considering using a standing desk, as it may not be suitable for certain medical conditions or individuals with certain disabilities. If you decide to buy one, make sure you find an ergonomic desk that is adjustable & fits your body correctly. Additionally, take breaks from standing throughout the day – alternating between sitting & standing every 30 minutes can help prevent fatigue & the strain on your back muscles.

Standing can cause acid reflux

Are There Any Risks Associated With Using a Standing Desk?

Yes, there are some risks associated with using a standing desk. For example, if you stand for too long without taking breaks, it can lead to increased pressure on your feet and legs which could cause them to swell or become sore. Additionally, you may need to adjust the height of your desk frequently in order to reduce strain on your neck & shoulders – this is especially important for people who are tall or short. Finally, standing for extended periods of time can result in poor posture and an overall decrease in productivity as you become tired more quickly. The best way to avoid these risks is by following ergonomic guidelines & taking regular breaks from standing throughout the day.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Standing Desk?

The benefits of using a standing desk include improved posture, increased circulation & flexibility improved focus & productivity, and reduced fatigue. Additionally, since standing desks encourage more movement throughout the day, they can help alleviate existing lower back pain & prevent further injury or discomfort due to sitting for extended periods of time. Finally, using a standing desk can help you stay alert & focused as it reduces inactivity during the work day.

When Should I Start Using a Standing Desk?

It is important to talk to your chiropractor or physical therapist before beginning any type of ergonomic routine – this includes starting to use a standing desk. However, if you decide to purchase one, make sure it is adjustable and suitable for your body type. Additionally, it is important to take regular breaks from standing throughout the day in order to prevent fatigue and strain on your body. Finally, make sure you are following ergonomic guidelines when using a standing desk to maximize its benefits & avoid any potential risks associated with it.

How to Set up a Standing Desk in Your Home or Office

When setting up a standing desk in your home or office, it is important to take into account several factors. First, make sure the desk has an adjustable height feature so you can easily switch it between sitting and standing positions depending on your needs. Additionally, find out if the desk has any additional features such as cable management tools or keyboard trays that can help keep your workspace organized and clutter-free. Check to see if there are any other ergonomic features that may be useful for your particular body type or workspace setup. Finally, try to position yourself close to a window so that you get your vitamin D!

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Alternate Standing with Sitting

In order to maximize the benefits of a standing desk, it is important to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. This will help prevent fatigue and strain on your body, as well as reduce any potential risks associated with using a standing desk for extended periods of time. Ideally, you should stand for 1-2 hours before taking a break to sit down for 15-20 minutes – this can be done several times during the workday in order to stay active & productive without putting too much strain on your body. Additionally, make sure that you take regular breaks from working in general (e.g. every hour) so you can stretch out or go for a walk around your office or home. Lastly, try an ergonomic seat cushion for support and comfort!


Standing desks are becoming more popular as people become aware of the risks associated with sitting for long periods. While there is still more research to be done on the topic, early studies show promising results in terms of reducing back pain. If you are considering a standing desk, make sure to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist to ensure it is the right fit for you.



  1. Randomized Controlled Trial Occup Environ Med
    . 2018 May;75(5):321-327. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2017-104732. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Medical Disclaimer: This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Product Disclaimer: The seat cushion is designed by a chiropractor, but results may vary and are not guaranteed. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.


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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.


Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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