Standing desks are good to ease some discomfort caused by scoliosis and limit its progression when used properly.
These benefits are not enough to handle the effects of scoliosis alone, and improper use will make the issues worse.
In this article, we explain the different ways that scoliosis may develop and the benefits of standing desk use to decrease its effects.
We also explain the potential hazards and how you must use a standing desk to achieve the benefits.
The Development of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is an incurable, progressive condition related to the abnormal curvature of the spine.
While a normal spine has a slight curve to it, those with scoliosis note extended curvatures that put undue stress on the area and surrounding muscles.
Most individuals diagnosed with scoliosis during childhood are referred to as Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and can take certain steps to lessen its impacts throughout their lives.
Others get the diagnosis as adults. This happens when it is not caught in childhood and/or the discs and joints in the spine degenerate and fall into one another.
There is no known reason why this happens, but the damage is irreversible.
Treatment of degenerative (de novo) scoliosis involves utilizing over-the-counter pain medications and exercises designed to strengthen the core and affected muscles.
Professional observation and recommendations are recommended.
Can Sitting or Standing at Work Cause Scoliosis?
Sitting or standing at work cannot cause scoliosis, but doing too much of either can increase the effects.
The biggest issues with sitting and standing at work occur when:
- You hold one position for too long
- You sit or stand incorrectly
- You fail to take a break from both activities
While these do not cause scoliosis, they lead to pain in your neck, shoulders, and spine, particularly the lower back.
This can lead to chronic pain in these areas, and it only gets worse alongside a condition such as scoliosis.
Benefits of Standing Desks for Scoliosis
Standing desks may not have a direct effect on scoliosis, but they offer several benefits to improve your core and encourage proper positioning.
Anyone handling scoliosis benefits from:
- The chance to take on proper posture with ease
- Great opportunities to move around
- Easier exercise while working
- Lower obesity
You must use a standing desk properly to unlock these benefits, but with correct use and professional oversight, you can reduce pain related to scoliosis.
Read More >> Benefits of a Standing Desk?
Facilitate Proper Posture:
It is easier to take on proper posture while standing than it is while you sit. This occurs as you limit the “crutches” you may lean on, such as your office chair or desk.
The design of your body works better for standing than it does sitting, and countless studies showing the harms of sedentary work support this claim.
When you use a standing desk you have fewer opportunities to drop down and throw off your entire alignment.
While it may take a while to understand what correct posture feels like, once you get used to it it is easier to stand and hold everything in line.
Eliminate Stagnant Muscle Stress:
Your muscles undergo more stress when:
- You stay in one position for too long
- You sit or stand improperly
- They don’t receive proper oxygen and nutrients
Standing forces your body to make more micro-adjustments and keeps your body “on its toes”.
These may be small, but they lessen the chances of muscles locking or sitting completely still for too long.
Because it is easier and more natural to maintain proper posture while standing, you run a lower risk of straining your muscles to accomplish the task.
Thai prevents stress on overworked muscles, but it also prevents other muscle sets from weakening so much they strain when you finally use them.
Standing also makes it easier for blood to flow properly and at an effective rate.
While sitting compresses the vessels in your lower body, standing keeps everything open and prevents fatty acids from building up.
By allowing oxygen and nutrients to feed the muscles properly they can better recover from physical activity and work effectively to secure the back.
Easier to Exercise While Working:
While there are options for exercise while sitting, these rarely focus on core preservation and growth.
This is essential to handle the effects of scoliosis and mitigate any pain from the condition.
While standing, you can easily transition to core workouts.
Standing at your desk engages your core more and you multiply this benefit when you introduce hybrid exercise methods like treadmill use.
Lesser Chance of Obesity:
Obesity puts undue stress on a straight spine, and it only gets worse when dealing with scoliosis.
Standing desks decrease your chance of obesity by:
- Limiting other factors, like high blood pressure or cholesterol
- Providing a greater incentive for activity
- Keeping your body in constant micromotion
These benefits alone will not prevent weight gain, but they’re better than sitting.
A standing desk can pave the way for increased exercise or make it easier to maintain your current routine.
Hazards of Standing Desks for Scoliosis
Standing desks offer a few risks for scoliosis as well.
Being mindful of the dangers is important when making an informed decision to manage the condition of your body.
Improper Sit to Stand Ratio:
If you spend too much time standing, then you are just as likely to cause pain in your back, and you can even harm the muscles in your lower body and make proper standing or movement difficult.
Spend only up to twice as much time standing as you do sitting while working. Anything more than this causes undue stress on your body.
It is also important to take a break every half hour or so, just as you would while sitting.
This prevents your body from staying in one position for too long and defaulting to poor posture habits.
The benefits of standing for scoliosis are only available if you stand using the correct posture.
Without this key detail, you are still:
- Straining the wrong muscles groups
- Limiting the flow of nutrients
- Prone to hunch or slouch
Proper posture may be more difficult depending on the severity of scoliosis, but the goal is to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a line while allowing the natural, neutral curve of the spine.
Focus on keeping everything in line but relaxed.
Is Standing or Sitting Better for Scoliosis?
Both standing and sitting offer benefits for scoliosis.
The emphasis should not be on one or the other, but rather on an appropriate combination of using both methods properly.
Standing is considered the best orientation for proper posture, but sitting allows you to rest many of the muscles you engage while standing.
Sitting can also alleviate some of the responsibility on you regarding proper posture.
With the correct ergonomic tools, you can create a sitting environment that encourages and reminds you of proper posture.
For example, a correctly fitted chair molds perfectly to your position when sitting and makes it difficult to slouch.
Standing prevents many of these issues outright and mixes up the ways you use your muscles.
Read More >> How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk?
Tips to Limit Back Pain from Scoliosis with a Standing Desk
While nothing beats proper use, there are a few things you can do to further reduce the strain.
Make sure you use comfortable shoes with little to no heel. Too much heel forces you to stand in a way that does not support your spine properly, among other issues.
The same goes for arch supports or other orthotic devices.
Consider using an anti-fatigue mat to lessen the impacts of standing on your body.
Compared to standing on a hard floor, these mats ease the strain on your joints and muscles.
Make sure you work alongside a professional to create a plan to manage the effects of scoliosis.
They will help you determine whether the standing desk is doing any good for your scoliosis, and they should have enough insight to introduce other options and accommodations that benefit you.