Man concentrating at his desk.

Do Standing Desks Improve Focus?


The simple answer to this question is - yes, standing desks can improve focus for many people and have in fact been praised for their potential benefits in improving productivity as a result. 

One possible reason for this is that standing desks promote movement and can therefore help combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting, such as reduced blood flow, which can in turn impact cognitive function. Also, standing desks can improve posture and reduce back pain, which can both improve focus and concentration levels. 

But before we dive into these reasons in more detail, it’s important to ensure you have a full understanding of what standing desks are, and the different types of desks you might find on the market. 

What Are Standing Desks?

In short, standing desks are a type of desk that allows you to work while standing. Many modern standing desks are adjustable, so you can easily change the desk's height between sitting and standing.

Using standing desks offers many benefits compared to standard office desks, including significant mental and physical health improvements, such as improved posture, weight loss and improved mental alertness. 

Woman using standing desk with a smile on her face.
Standing desks are also known as stand-up or sit-stand desks.

What Are the Different Types of Standing Desks?

There are two main types of standing desks: electric and manual, and there are some clear differences between the two that set them apart.

  • Electric standing desks: Also called ergonomic standing desks, these desks allow users to change their height quickly and quietly with the click of a button, making it easy to regularly alternate between sitting and standing positions.
  • Manual desks: This type of standing desk allows users to adjust their height with a simple crank, but this often takes more time and effort. They are cheaper than electric-powered desks and have adjustable parts.

Looking for a standing desk for your commercial office, home or workspace? Check out our quality collection of standing desks here.

How do Standing Desks Improve Focus?

    1. Movement Can Prevent Boredom

    Boredom and focus are often inversely related. By this we mean, if you’re bored, your focus tends to diminish, as boredom can lead to distraction and reduced motivation to engage with a task or activity. 

    In a working environment, one of the main causes of boredom and disengagement can stem from sitting in the same position for long periods of time. 

    This is why switching to a standing desk can come in handy as they naturally facilitate movement throughout the day, giving users the option to switch between sitting and standing at any given time. 

    Incorporating movement into the work routine can therefore help prevent boredom and maintain mental alertness. In fact, a study has shown that just 10 minutes of movement is all it takes to increase mental focus within a workplace, with 37% of employees reporting high levels of energy in the middle of the day when incorporating small and frequent movements.

    Man using treadmill while working at a standing desk.Many people with a standing desk also invest in an under desk treadmill to facilitate as much movement as possible while working at their desk. 


    2. Increased Blood Flow Enhances Cognitive Function

    Standing and moving around naturally promotes better blood circulation (compared to when sitting). This in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which stimulates brain activity and can improve memory, problem-solving, alertness, clarity, concentration and focus.

    Extended periods of sitting, on the other hand, have been associated with poor executive function, due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, leading to decreased oxygen and nutrient delivery to brain cells

    Breaking up prolonged periods of sitting with a standing desk can positively influence one’s focus and mental alertness by reducing sedentary behaviours and mitigating its ill effects.

    3. Reduced Physical Discomfort

    Another key way in which standing desks can improve focus is by reducing physical discomfort.

    It’s no surprise that extended periods of sitting can cause physical discomfort, such as stiffness, back pain, muscle tension, or numbness. In fact, in a 2011 trial, participants who used standing workstations reduced time spent sitting down by 225%, and experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain as a result.

    These negative feelings can massively impact one’s ability to focus on tasks, as discomfort and pain is a huge factor when it comes to distraction. 

    Scientific research has, however, shown that standing desks can help to alleviate back pain caused by sitting, by encouraging less sedentary behaviour, improving posture, and reducing pressure on the spine. 

    For example, in a 2018 trial, patients who used a standing desk to improve sedentary behaviour experienced an impressive 50% decrease in back pain compared to a control group that didn’t.

    Need help choosing the perfect standing desk? Get in touch with one of our friendly experts today at or 020 8064 0600.

    No wonder chiropractors recommend standing desks to their patients!

    4. Increased Energy and Mood

    Did you know that a lack of energy can negatively impact your mood? And sitting for long periods of time at a desk is linked with low vigour (energy and enthusiasm) and job performance. On the other hand, standing up and moving around has been linked to a boost in energy, mood, focus and therefore performance.

    In one study, standing for one hour during the workday increased productivity for 66% of workers, while 71% felt more focused and 87% reported feeling more energised. Upon returning to their old desks, overall moods reverted to their original levels, which confirms it was the desk that made the positive difference. 

    A standing desk can therefore significantly help to boost energy, mood and improve focus, especially if you’re often experiencing fatigue and sluggishness while at work.

    And there we have it! We hope this article has shed light on the question, "Do standing desks improve focus?". By incorporating standing desks into your workspace and taking advantage of their ergonomic design, you can create an environment that promotes better focus, productivity, and overall well-being. 

    Check out our full collection of standing desks, available for next working day delivery if ordered by 3pm. Our desks come with a comprehensive 10 year warranty and price guarantee, as well as access to a UK-based customer service team to answer any questions that you might have around our products and installation service.

    Otherwise, our standing desk news page provides more useful tips on using a standing desk and ergonomic accessories for a more balanced lifestyle.

    Any questions? Please get in touch with our experts via our enquiry form on our site, or on 020 8064 0600.

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