Standing desk - does it affect recovery?

My swim coach and physio have both commented on how tight my hip flexors are (not surprising as I spend all day at work sat down in front of a PC), so I’ve finally done something about it and sorted a standing desk to use at work (the Varidesk where you can switch between a seated and standing position). I do a workout most lunchtimes (usually running); is standing in the afternoon likely to have a negative affect on recovery from the workout?

For you guys that have been using standing desks for a while - have you found any negatives in terms of fatigue and compromised recovery from spending most of your day standing?

I thought I heard something about this in one of the podcasts a few months ago. Off to search; I’ll report back.


I have a standing desk at work and spend a few hours each day standing. I cant say 100% but I feel that it helps with recovery, if I am sitting all day my legs feel a bit more stiff during an evening workout than if I stand occasionally.

If anything I would encourage a bit of standing during the day just to get the blood flowing and use some different muscles for a bit, any added fatigue should be quite minimal.

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I’m going on only my personal experience here, but I’ve found that when I’m focusing on TrainerRoad workouts the last thing I want to do is put my desk in standing mode.

However, when I’m in unstructured/fun rides mode, I love standing at it and working on stretches and leg swings and stuff.

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I have a standing desk and agree with @Spots. I will stand when I am not feeling fatigue in my legs from that day’s or previous day’s rides. I absoltuely think it helps with hip flexor tightness and lower back discomfort, as well as general circulation - that’s why I got one. That said, when I’m trying to recover from challenging workouts, I don’t stand nearly as much. I’ll stand about 50% of the time on days where I’m not fatigued. On days where I am fatigued I may not stand at all.

The old adage for recovery applies: don’t stand when you can lean; don’t lean when you can sit; don’t sit when you can lay down.

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Me too. I dug around but could not find it. I’m pretty sure it was before Leadville last year…

Yeah, my search-fu is not good today.

I’ve had a standing desk for a few years now. I won’t go into all of the reasons why I love it, but there are many.

As for its affect on recovery - the rule of thumb is sitting is better than standing, but standing is better than walking. My legs definitely feel the fatigue at times at the standing desk. If I workout in the morning before work, I try and sit until lunch if it was a big workout. Usually I do my harder workouts at night so I can sit most of the evening. I Also find that I stretch a lot more throughout the day, which always helps.

Get a good recovery meal in and drink all the fluids and you should be just fine. Just don’t feel like you’re wimping out by sitting, some days your body just needs it.

Also, get really comfortable shoes and a floor mat :grinning:

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Agree with stretching more throughout the day… definitely true. I find I stretch hips, quads, etc. quite a bit while standing at work.

That’s what we have at office as well, the raising desks are flex-spots so that everybody can use them.
What we have added is a simple ‘fitness bike’ that is easily adjusted and transportable as well, so that people can pedal whilst they are seated.

It even connects to the Wahoo app via bluetooth so people can track how much they pedaled.

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Sounds like a great place to work!

I’m getting up there in age (43) and I have a physical job on my feet all day most days of the week. There are days my legs are super heavy and just getting out of my car after work is a chore. I still seem to recover in time for the next daily workout. I actually wear thin converse type shoes instead of work boots (hate raised heels) and removed most of our rubber mats on the exposed concrete floor with the theory this will only help strengthen my feet. Sometimes it bothers me I can’t get that good daily recovery but nothing I can do about that. So I’d say if you like a standing desk go for it.

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I am somewhat prone to injuries, and tight hip flexors (a problem many of us have) “aided” by my desk job seem to be one of the culprits. Being a freelancer I often work at home, so I converted my kitchen table to a standing desk using one of those props advertised on Facebook. I didn’t feel like using it at all after the morning swim session, but after 2-3 hours sitting down there’s nothing I want more than to stretch my legs.

Brought my standing desk over to Germany with me last year (I work 100% remote now). When I’m not standing, I’m sitting on an exercise ball, rather than a normal chair. I tend to move around a lot, which the ball is great for, just moving side to side, bouncing, etc, especially when listening to music while working. When I’m standing, I use a “Topo Comfort” standing mat by Ergodriven, not cheap, but very comfortable, and great for doing little stretches, too. Another upside to the desk is that I have my old bike set up on the side, so when I do a trainer workout, I just turn a monitor sideways, raise the desk a bit, and bam, off I go. In a few weeks we’ll be moving into a house we bought, where I’ll have a dedicated pain cave, but this setup has worked out well since last Sept. I do find that the standing helps open up and stretch the hip flexors.

It’s a mess, but I’ll post it anyways…