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Is Using a Standing Desk Same as Exercising?

04 January 2024

You've probably seen a coworker using the office treadmill desk to catch up on emails while another uses their standing desk to complete reports. While they're both staying active, they're also reducing their risk of heart disease, back discomfort, neck pain, and obesity.

Numerous studies have connected these and other health issues with excessive sitting. Sitting too much can be harmful to one's health, even if they exercise most days. With a standing desk, you can work while standing since it raises your computer to a comfortable height, allowing you to stay energetic.

Standing Desks and Their Types

The fundamental concept behind all standing desks is that you can work while standing. Desks with fixed heights remain at a level for standing. You can sit or stand at any time with a sit-stand desk because they cannot be adjusted up and down. Power sit-stand desks, on the other hand, are raised by pressing a button. When it comes to manual standing desks, you can use a crank, lever, or handle to raise or lower them. A standing desk can be purchased online, in-person, or through big-box, electronics, or office supply stores.

These desks give you the option of standing rather than sitting while performing your desk job. They can be custom built, or you can elevate your computer on a regular desk for free to turn it into a standing desk.

Standing desk sales have increased dramatically in recent years, often outpacing those of traditional workstations by a wide margin. We personally think that it's a great concept - wouldn't it be better to be standing instead of sitting all day staring at a computer screen? Consumers usually love researching some of the presumptions made about standing workstations, though. One typical argument is that standing rather than sitting requires more calories and effort, and over the course of several weeks or days, those extra calories would build up to a sizable amount. But is it accurate to say that a standing desk can prevent weight gain and even aid in weight loss?

Researchers who published their findings specifically aimed to address that. They installed oxygen consumption monitors on healthy volunteers to determine how many calories they burnt while walking on a treadmill, standing, watching TV, or using a computer.

Not everyone has time to go to the gym or go running after or before work. Our time is one of the first things to be given up in our hectic, demanding schedules. But we shouldn't make our health suffer because of this. If you already work standing up, you've probably seen some significant health advantages.

Compared to your coworkers who remain sitting, you have a better attitude towards work, greater focus, and more energy all the time. By selecting the ideal desk, you have already made a better lifestyle choice.

So why not step it up and add some exercises while you're there, plodding through reports and emails? Nothing is stopping you now that you've gotten out of the chair. After all, our sedentary lives pose a serious threat to our health, and that if we spend too much time each day seated in front of our computers and TVs, we risk dying young.

However, our general lack of physical exercise is what health experts are concerned about, not just the sitting. Many researchers examined how often we sit and how much exercise we get in a recent study that was published in a journal. They arrived to the painful but inescapable conclusion that we are not moving nearly enough, which means that they don't engage in any moderate or strenuous activity each week. And keep in mind that the CDC advises 75 minutes of intense exercise or two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Sadly, while being aggressively touted as the antidote to our sedentary lifestyle, standing desks' advantages have been drastically overstated. Contrary to cycling or running, standing at work does not qualify as exercise, and there is no proof that it has any positive effects on cardiovascular health. What a standing desk can do is support the promotion of an energetic, active lifestyle.

In fact, according to the most recent scientific research, not sitting at work but a lack of activity may be the greater health issue overall. The prolonged sitting health campaigns are based on several studies that link excessive sitting to an increased risk of chronic diseases like early death, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

But in recent years, the relationship between dying and sitting has become more nuanced. It turns out that the context may be more important than the actual sitting. In fact, studies show that the average office worker sits at their desk for 8 hours on a daily basis. The same study also discovered that those who spend more time sitting at work tend to spend more time sitting overall.

Many contemporary workplaces are equipped with standing desks to promote an active workday. Standing desks have been shown to help you burn more calories than you would while sitting, and they also encourage you to take short pauses for moderate exercise, which helps you burn even more calories.

Standing Desk Use Lowers Obesity

Simply put, ingesting more calories than you are expending leads to weight gain. Whereas the energy required by your body to keep you alive accounts for the majority of your caloric burn. Based on factors including body size, sex, age, dietary patterns, hormone regulation, and genetic makeup, each person has a unique metabolic rate. This means that each person needs a different amount of calories to survive. This can also change day to day depending on how much exercise, stress, and sleep you get.

It goes without saying that weight gain and loss can be a little tricky. To make matters clearer, your body will retain extra calories as fat if they are taken in excess of what is needed for metabolism and are not burned off through exercise. Standing instead of sitting can cause you to burn more calories, which will lead to weight loss even if exercise is the most efficient technique to burn off extra calories. Studies have yielded conflicting results about the precise number of extra calories expended while utilising a standing desk, but generally speaking, you will burn anywhere between 30 and 60 extra calories per hour when using a standing desk as opposed to sitting.

Standing may reduce your risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar as indicated above. When you sit still for too long, your body loses the ability to use blood sugar effectively.

Low Back Pain

Long periods of time spent sitting in an office chair can be quite bad for your lower back, as well as other muscles and joints. Simply put, our bodies weren't designed to spend significant amounts of time sitting down.

Your neck, arms, shoulders, and back will experience more tension as a result of the immobile position a chair force you into. When adequate ergonomic placement isn't performed, these impacts of sitting get worse.

A sit-stand desk was utilised in a study where 23 office workers of various ages and body types alternated between sitting and standing for the duration of an 8-hour workday. When compared to sitting at their desks the entire workday, the study's participants reported having 32.7% less back pain.

There may be other benefits to standing while you work, even though the current study says that using a standing desk is unlikely to aid in weight loss or prevent weight gain. Advocates of standing desks cite research demonstrating that on days when a person spends more time standing, sugar levels in the blood go back to normal more quickly after a meal. Additionally, standing as opposed to sitting may lower the risk of shoulder and back pain.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing a standing desk lowers your risk of heart disease and obesity, along with the risk of cholesterol and high sugar levels. In addition, it also gives you more energy, elevates the mood, and boosts productivity and creativity.

Experts recommend that the best way to fully utilize a standing desk is to stand for a bit, sit, and then stand again. You should repeat this pattern several times a day. If you have difficulty remembering to stand up or take breaks, you can put an alarm on your phone as a reminder. Start by standing for no more than 30 minutes at a time, several times per day. Add an hour, then as soon as you feel comfortable, add two or more hours.

You should place the standing desk where your body feels most comfortable. When you stand, your head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line. Additionally, while your wrists are flat on the surface, your elbows should form a 90-degree angle. Set the computer monitor so that it is at eye level. Put on relaxed footwear with comfortable shoes. You can wear low heels or flats – whatever you prefer. For added support, you can use a padded mat.