Sitting for a prolonged length of time can seriously affect your health. Sitting too much every day can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death. It also burns very few calories which studies linked it to weight gain and obesity.
This is a cause for concern for office workers because sitting down is what they do for most of the day. But fortunately for them, standing desks are becoming the norm in everyday office environment.
What Is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk, also called a stand-up desk, is a desk that allows the user to stand up with ease while working. Many of these standing desks are adjustable so that you can set the height of the desk and go between sitting and standing. These are known as height-adjustable desks or sit-stand desks.
Research suggests that using a standing desk can have great health benefits and increase productivity. Using this type of desk can partly neutralize the ill effects of sitting too much.
What are the benefits of using a standing desk, that is supported by science?
1. Standing Lowers the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Weight gain is usually caused by taking in more calories than burning it. So, burning more calories than you take in will result in weight loss. Exercising can be the most effective way of burning calories fast, standing also can also be beneficial than sitting. When comparing to a half-day of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing shows to burn over 170 additional calories.
That equals about 1000 extra calories burned each week by standing at work each afternoon. This difference is one of the several reasons sitting longer is associated with obesity and metabolic disease.
2. The Use of a Standing Desk Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
When blood sugar levels increase after meals, this is not good for your health. Most especially true for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. In a study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch lowered the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to the group sitting for an equal amount of time. Both groups took an equal number of steps, showing the smaller spike was due to standing rather than extra movements around the office.
The ill effects of sitting after meals explain why too much sedentary time is associated to a 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Standing May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Studies show that bus conductors who stood all day have half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as their co-workers in the driver’s seats. With the study, scientists have a clear understanding of the effects of sitting on heart health, prolonged sitting time can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%. Even an hour of extensive exercise could not make up for the negative effects of an entire day sitting.
There is no doubt that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.
4. Standing Desks Appear to Reduce Back Pain
Back pain is the most frequent complaint of office workers who sit all day. To see if standing desks could alleviate back pain, several studies are done on employees with long-term back pain. Participants have shown up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after using standing desks for several weeks.
But when the sit-stand desks were removed, the improvement disappeared within a 2-week period
5. Standing Desks Improve Mood and Energy Levels
Standing desks seem to have a positive effect on overall well-being. In a 7-week study, the use of standing desks participants reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire workday. Also, 87% of those using standing desks said they have increased vigor and energy all day.
The findings coincide with the bigger research on sitting and mental health, which shows sedentary time have an increased risk of both depression and anxiety
6. Standing Desks May Even Boost Productivity
A misconception about standing desks is that they hamper daily tasks like typing. Since standing every afternoon might getting used to, standing desks doesn’t seem to have a great impact on typical work tasks. In a study of 60 young office employees, by using a standing desk for 4 hours each day did not make a difference on characters typed per minute or typing errors. It shows that standing improves mood and energy. By using a standing desk can boost productivity rather than hinder it.
7. Standing More May Help You Live Longer
Studies found out there is a strong association between more sitting time and early death. A case in point, by reviewing 18 studies, it was found that the people who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least. While these observational studies still need to make a case, the majority of evidence shows standing more frequently can help lengthen a person’s lifespan.
It’s Time to Stand Up
Minimizing sitting time can help improve physical, metabolic and even mental health. Which is why sitting less and standing more can radically improve your lifestyle and health.
The above benefits may not be the only ones you can try to find out this new lifestyle. Improvements in physical, metabolic, and mental health can impact your life in ways you never thought possible.
If you are considering changing to a standing desk, we recommend the Flexispot Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk . It is best that you ease into standing while working by short increments.
If you want to begin using a standing desk, to get the best results, split your time between standing and sitting.