A new study in the online journal “Biomedical Central Musculoskeletal Disorders” has made the correlation between leg length discrepancy (LLD) and lower back pain (LBP) in individuals who stand for work. The study looked at meat cutters versus sedentary customer service representatives in normal workday settings.
A standing worker who has “LLD of 6 mm or more was associated with higher intensity of LBP and number of (sick) days with LBP.” (1)
So, your stand up desk will certainly increase your brain power and ‘sitting is the new smoking,’ but, if you do not investigate your leg lengths and posture, even the smallest change will eventually result in LBP. Missed work days because of LBP could be significantly higher in stand up work station employees if posture is not assessed correctly.
Does this mean that everyone who has a stand up desk needs an x-ray or CT or accurate measurement? Not necessarily. If you have a stand up desk and suffer LBP, then yes, you should have it investigated and that investigation must include a leg length analysis. Correction must be made with appropriate footwear options.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the stand up desk revolution! I’d love it more, however, if 1 out of 3 individuals in the human population with a LLD would get it analyzed and save themselves pain & suffering by correcting the LLD problem first. (2)
Dr Huma Pierce DCfCBP
1. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2015 May 7;16:110. doi: 10.1186/s12891-015-0571-9.
2. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;176:108-12.