Standing desks sounded something of a novelty – futuristic, even – when they first made the news, but workers in homes and offices around the country are embracing them, keen to get away from the backache and neck strain anyone who works 9-5 has experienced after sitting on their derrière all day. The physical benefits of standing, rather than sitting, may seem obvious, but some believe standing desks have further-reaching health benefits.
Dr. Friedman, the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, recently wrote in The New York Times that standing desks could make us sharper and smarter. The article cited a study, conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles, which found that "sedentary behaviour is associated with reduced thickness of the medial temporal lobe, which contains the hippocampus, a brain region that is critical to learning and memory."
Could standing up at work make our brains work more efficiently, as well as getting us off our butts? Will Williams is the founder of UK standing desk company, Furna. He kindly lent us one of their most popular models, the Furna E2 electric, which costs £420, for a week.
Williams didn't promise any health benefits; in fact, he's reticent about the brain-boosting claims: "I think the research is still too thin for any major health claims but the added comfort of the ability to always be at a desk the correct height for you, as well as stretch out and work while standing (just like a walking break to get the blood flowing) are huge advantages. So, for us, comfort and productivity improvements are the important and clearly identifiable things while long-term health benefits a potential bonus."