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These desks are not as healthy as they're cracked up to be.

By Kathleen Felton
October 15, 2019

Nothing says "I strive to be a healthy person" quite like a standing desk. But despite the health halo around these trendy workstations, research doesn't always back up their benefits. A 2016 study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that standing rather than sitting burned a mere 2 or 3 additional calories per 15 minutes—or as the lead study author put it, "not a very significant increase." And ironically, a small study in Ergonomics even found that standing for a prolonged amount of time could actually lead to more discomfort throughout the body.

That's not to say that standing desks are all bad. If you get back pain from sitting down or simply prefer to stand while you type, a standing desk could be worth considering. (These are a few models we like.) And it's worth noting that a small study this past fall in BMJ did link standing desks to increased work performance and lower anxiety levels. But if you've been torturing yourself by standing for nine hours a day in the name of wellness, other items out there can improve your workplace health. Unlike standing desks, most of the products on this list are more affordable (all ring in under $150) and don't require nagging your office administrator for help setting it up.

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