Standing-desk devotees are quick to tell you that “sitting is the new smoking,” but a recent meta-analysis shows that sit-to-stand and other active workstations might not lead to the benefits we expect. Yes, you burn more calories standing than you would parking it in a chair, but that requires standing for hours on end (and researchers found most people with sit-to-stand desks fail to do so). And yes, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of heart failure and shorten your lifespan, but research has yet to show that standing at work actually changes those stats.
The analysis isn’t out to end the sitting vs. standing debate, but Jos Verbeek, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and one of the study’s authors, told NPR that there are more effective ways to create a healthier work environment, such as putting the printer farther away from your desk or going to a bathroom on another floor. And if you really love your standing desk, there’s no need to abandon it, especially if it makes you productive. You just shouldn’t feel high and mighty when you see coworkers chilling in their chairs.