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Standing desks aren’t the cure for back pain, say researchers

Half of Brits over 40 suffer from back pain

Standing and variable height desks can be found in many modern offices around the world, but a researcher says they may not be a solution to the workforce’s growing back problems.

Dr Nipun Shrestha of the Health Research and Social Development Forum in Nepal has found “very little difference in energy expenditure between sitting and standing”. In an article for the New York Daily News, he also says standing can actually increase back pain, makes you more tired at the end of the day and can cause varicose veins.

Study co-author Jos Verbeek of the Finnish Institute for Occupational Health says in order to effectively reverse the negative consequences of sitting, one would have to stand for two to four hours a day. He’s found that people with a variable height desk sit more than they realise.

Verbeek says more people who spend all day at work go home and sit on the couch or in front of a computer, essentially rendering the positives of standing at work useless. He is an advocate for finding more ways to be active outside of work to combat health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.

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