We have seen dramatic changes in the work environment over the last few years. The small cubicles from the last decade have now transformed into open floor spaces that allow creative engagement and conversations, and standing desks have replaced chairs.
Since standing is better than sitting for prolonged hours, many individuals believe that a standing desk is what you need at a productive workplace. Advocates of standing desks also assume that standing can help you lose weight.
While standing is definitely better than sitting, does it really contribute to weight loss is what we look at in this post. The latest studies suggest that a standing desk may offer several health benefits but is unlikely to help you lose weight or prevent weight gain.
Let's start by taking a closer look at the health benefits that a standing desk offers and find out the answer to an important question. But before we delve into the details, let’s start by understanding why prolonged sitting can be dangerous.
Health Concerns Associated with Prolonged Sitting
When you sit and work, your body uses less energy than standing or walking. Research indicates that prolonged sitting is associated with several health concerns, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess fat around the waist. Together, these clusters of symptoms can make you more prone to a common metabolic disorder known as Type II diabetes.
Prolonged sitting is also one of the leading causes of incorrect posture and associated health concerns. Poor posture can lead to neck and back strain and other musculoskeletal problems, ranging from lower backache to reduced intervertebral spacing and disc prolapse.
Moreover, prolonged sitting can negatively affect blood circulation in the human body. Once circulation slows down due to prolonged sitting, different parts of your body may experience reduced blood flow, eventually leading to nerve pain and other neurological conditions that are associated with the lack of nutrients and oxygen due to improper blood flow.
In some cases, prolonged sitting can also increase your risk of premature death and cancer. So whether you are sitting at your desk for long hours or staying behind the wheel, prolonged sitting can be dangerous for your health in several ways.
Benefits of a Standing Desk
If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long hours, it's worth exploring the health benefits of a standing desk so you can choose the right office furniture for your home or conventional office.
Here are some of the health and other benefits you can enjoy by using a standing desk.
Standing Improves Posture
One of the most common health concerns affecting the quality of life is musculoskeletal problems that can range from neck and shoulder strain to backache and more.
Using a standing desk can help you deal with musculoskeletal problems associated with prolonged sitting because when you are standing in an upright posture, unlike sitting, it doesn't compress your spine. Hence, using a standing desk, you are less likely to experience posture-related backache and neck and shoulder pain.
Moreover, standing instead of sitting helps improve your wrist position, so you are less likely to suffer from conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist condition associated with improper wrist position while working on a keyboard.
Standing Improves Blood Circulation
The human body is designed to move. When you sit for long hours, it affects blood circulation in different parts of the body, which turns into a cause of several health concerns. However, that's not the case when you are standing. When you stand, it improves your balance and strengthens your core, which also helps prevent blood clots and other problems associated with poor blood circulation.
Standing Boosts Your Focus and Productivity
Apart from bringing several health benefits, standing while working can also help improve your focus and boost productivity. And when you perform better at work, you feel happier and healthier.
Can Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?
Now that we already know the benefits that a standing desk brings along, let's delve in deep to find whether standing desks can help you lose weight.
The latest studies on the benefits of standing desks suggest that it's unlikely to help you with weight loss. A standing desk may also not help you avoid weight gain. But there may be several other benefits that we highlighted above, proven through research. Studies suggest that individuals who use a standing desk instead of a conventional chair at the office experience a faster return to normal blood sugar after a meal than individuals who spend longer on their desks. Moreover, research also suggests that standing, rather than sitting, reduces the risk of shoulder and back pain and helps improve other posture-related concerns.
So why doesn’t a standing desk really help you with weight loss?
A couple of studies were conducted to find the answer, and almost all studies concluded that there is only a slight difference in the number of calories you burn while sitting or standing. When you are sitting, your body burns almost 80 calories every hour. On the other hand, as you stand, the number of calories burned is only slightly higher than while sitting, which is about 88 calories per hour.
In other words, when you use a standing desk for eight hours, your body burns an extra 64 calories, which is about the same number of calories in around 10 almonds.
Moreover, standing desks aren’t the perfect workspace solution. Like prolonged sitting, standing for long hours come with its unique set of challenges, which include the following.
Leg and Foot Pain
When standing for long hours, puts pressure on your knees, hips, and feet, which can cause pain. Moreover, if you have a pre-existing condition of the spine, it can aggravate the pain and inflammation of the nerves, muscles, and joints.
Another common problem associated with prolonged standing is varicose veins. When you are on your feet for too long, the vein in your legs may stretch to fit the extra blood and get weaker and lead to the condition known as varicose veins. Corrective surgery is required to fix the problem of varicose veins.
Standing Doesn’t Replace the Need for Moving
Indeed, you will burn a few more calories while standing compared to sitting but working on a standing desk doesn’t replace the need for exercise. Your body still needs some movement to burn more calories, improve blood circulation and maintain a healthy weight.
However, you can easily overcome these problems by investing in a height-adjustable standing desk that allows you to sit and stand at your convenience. While several height adjustable standing desks are available on the market, one of the best height adjustable standing desks that can be a perfect addition to your home or office is the Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk Glass Top - 48" W.
The 48" wide, height-adjustable standing desk is perfect for multiple users, which makes it an ideal choice for your home or conventional office. The easy-to-assemble standing desk is multifunctional and has a wider adjustable height, so it is perfectly compatible with the different heights of the users. The seamless height adjustment is just another of the many interesting features of this standing desk that comes from the reliable ergonomic office equipment supplier Flexispot.
The Correct Way to Stand
It’s clear that the use of a standing desk brings its unique health benefits and has a few shortcomings that you can overcome if you choose the right type of standing desk for yourself. But a standing desk is definitely not something that will help you lose weight.
But to make the most of a standing desk, you need to stand correctly.
Experts share the best way to use a standing desk, so you make the most of its benefits without experiencing its shortcomings.
Here is the correct way to use a standing desk.
Getting Used to the Standing Desk
When using a standing desk, stand for a while and then sit again. You can do it several times during the day.
To start with, stand for only 30 minutes at a time, a few times a day, and then gradually increase the duration to an hour or more.
Make sure you feel comfortable as you stand for long stretches.
Take a few short walks when switching between sitting and standing.
Setting Up the Standing Desk
Ensure that the standing desk is properly aligned with your body such that your neck, head, and spine are in a straight line when you stand.
Your elbow should make a 90-degree angle when your wrists are flat on the desk.
The screen of your computer should be at your eye level.
Staying Comfortable As You Use a Standing Desk
When you use a standing desk, make sure your footwear is comfortable.
You can also use a cushioned mat for support while standing.
A standing desk may not help you lose weight but it brings several other benefits to your mind and body. Learn more about Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk Glass Top - 48" W and other ergonomic office equipment and workplace solutions here.