You have probably seen a colleague working on their office tasks while standing at their heightened desk. While it may seem odd at first (it did to me too!), when I started looking into the benefits of a standing desk, I started to change my mind. Once I ordered my new work standing desk, there have been countless ways that a standing desk has changed my life!
Did you know that they can actually decrease your risk of neck pain, back pain, heart disease, and obesity? Sitting at your sedentary desk is actually quite bad for you since it is related to several health conditions that we all want to avoid. Even employees who go on daily runs and work out have a high risk of health problems if they remain sitting at their desks for too long. The way that standing desks work is that they lift the laptop or computer to a suitable height so that you can work while staying on your feet for longer.
Here are some ways that a standing desk changed my life, and maybe it will work for you too!
1. Got Rid of My Back Ache
At one point in my life, I had just accepted that I would be living with my backache for the rest of my life. The pain in my shoulders, upper back, and lower back would flare up literally every day. And this wasn’t just me! Back pain actually affects 80% of people, especially those who sit at their desks for work every day.
There are many pieces of research that have brought to attention how a standing desk can actually reduce back problems in the long run for many employees. The Take A Stand Project found that 54% of people experienced a significant decrease in their neck and back pain when they spent about an hour at their standing desk. With little over an hour of standing, you can really see a huge shift in your back troubles!
2. Helped Maintain My Weight
I gained around 9 pounds ever since I started working at my new office 8 months ago. There were no significant changes in my diet, and I couldn’t fathom why I was suddenly packing more weight into my lower body. Well, 53% of employees overall agree that they gain weight because they are sitting at their workplace all day long. But then I found a way to burn more calories at work without really having to make time for exercising too.
You can decrease the risk of obesity by standing at your desk for an hour instead of sitting every day. Standing 3 hours a day for the five working days can help you burn off 750 calories. If you keep that up for the year, you will end up losing an amazing 30,000 calories. That’s the same as running 10 marathons yearly!
3. Made My Mood Better
At the end of each workday, I would just be exhausted, tired, and pretty much just done. Sitting sedentary at your place of work all day has actually been linked to depression and anxiety, too, so no wonder I used to be in such a bad mood by the end of the day. The standing desk really helped in increasing my overall energy and improving my mood.
The Take A Stand Project also found the same results, with their participants reporting that they had better moods with just 66 minutes of standing at work every day for 4 weeks.
87% felt more comfortable
75% felt healthier
87% felt invigorated
66% felt productive
71% felt more focused
33% reported feeling less worried
62% felt happier
The study also found that the mood deteriorated when the standing desk was taken away. This shows that a standing desk can make a huge difference when it comes to your energy levels and mood.
4. Increased My Focus and Productivity
Getting used to the standing desk did take some time for me. However, the relief from my back and neck pain and my elevated mood really did help me stay productive and sharp at work. My body felt so much better after using the standing desk for a few days that I was able to get done with my work in a much better way! It did not impact the amount of work I was getting done negatively; instead, now I feel like I get through my tasks much faster than I could before.
One study in the British Medical Journal also supported the increase in productivity I personally felt too. Their participants, who started working at standing desks, reported improved job performance. The problem-solving ability and attentiveness began to improve steadily. One study by a contact center also showed a progressive increase of over 50% in productivity in just 6 months.
5. Better Collaboration with Colleagues
I found myself getting lazier the more I was seated at my desk. I would opt to email my colleagues, even if it was to ask what they want to do for lunch, let alone work-related things. When I got to my standing desk, I was already on my feet for several hours a day. This actually resulted in me just going to their desk and asking them about a project or work. I started getting in more steps for the day, and I actually made fewer mistakes when it came to projects we were collaborating on because I could ask more follow-up questions, which is harder to do on emails.
Studies also show that people who are on their feet are way more action-oriented than those who sit at their desks all day. It offers openness and confidence in a person and serves as a welcoming sign for people who want to approach you as well. This can help keep the ideas flowing at work and make collaboration really easy.
Other Benefits of a Standing Desk
The above were benefits that I found through my own personal experiences that were confirmed by research. But of course, there are many other benefits that I did not even realize my body was experiencing! Here are some other ways that a standing desk changed my life!
6. Decreased Risk of Cancer
According to many studies to date, sitting for too long at your desk for five days a week can actually increase the risk of cancer. Researchers have come to the conclusion that 49,000 cases for breast cancer, almost 31,000 cases for prostate cancer, 37,200 cases for lung cancer, 12,000 cases of endometrial cancer, 1,800 cases of ovarian cancer, and 43,000 cases for colon cancer were actually caused by little to no physical exercise.
When you get a standing desk, you are effectively exercising your entire body with just standing more! It personally encouraged me to walk around more and increase my daily mobility. Briefly walking while taking calls, swaying in place, shifting my weight, and going to talk to my colleagues all helped me be more physically mobile. Even the little movements and restlessness actually help your health!
7. Decreased Risk of Diabetes and High Blood Sugar Levels
Of course, you can experience an increase in the blood sugar levels in your body after you eat something. However, if this increase is too much and keeps up every day, you are at a much higher risk of developing the Type 2 diabetes condition. Having a high blood sugar level also leads one to feel sick and ill more often too.
One study showed that standing for 185 minutes after you have had your meal can reduce blood sugar by 43%. Another study showed that switching your position between standing and sitting every half an hour can also lower blood sugar by 11%. This means that you have a greater chance of controlling your blood sugar levels just by standing more!
8. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
One research showed that bus conductors who stood all day instead of sitting have a decreased risk of developing a heart condition than those who were standing all day long. Another study of 800,000 people also saw the same results. Being seated at your desk all day has actually been linked to a 90% increase in cardiovascular-related fatalities with a 147% increase in incidents like a heart attack.
If you want to improve your overall health, it is important to get a standing desk to switch up your sedentary life.
What Standing Desk Do I Recommend?
The one I am currently using at my workplace is the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series by FlexiSpot. It comes with a dual motor to lift the table and is made with quite a high-quality wood that is scratch and water-resistant. I was able to adjust it for my height as needed, and it doesn’t make any noise as it lifts up. It is quite stylish and helped me improve my lifestyle too!