Last Updated on March 13, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you may find yourself sitting for long periods of time. Health experts say excessive sitting is super harmful and seriously degrades the quality of our lives. People who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
Additionally, sitting all the time burns very few calories, and many studies have linked it to weight gain and obesity. This is a major problem for office workers because they have to sit down for most of the day.
Nowadays many offices are practicing standing desks, which allows employees to work while standing. Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular not only for office use but for home too.
A standing desk is a desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Many modern standing desks come with height adjusting feature so that you can change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing.
The standing desk comes with many health benefits as well as performance benefits. Let’s explore those benefits.
1. Reduces Risk of Weight Gain
Prolonged sitting in a chair has been linked to multiple health risks such as weight gain or obesity. The simple act of standing instead of sitting may help you burn up 50 calories per hour.
When you start using your standing desk for up to 4 hours a day, that number adds up. Standing burns 12% more calories than sitting. With a standing desk, you will be able to burn a significant number of calories in a week, which in turn helps to lose weight.
2. Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
Long sitting sessions can cause a lot of stress on your spine and may even lead to disk damage. According to various studies that have been done on employees with long-term back pain, participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks.
An inadequate monitor position causes you to tilt your head down, which might lead to neck strain. Also staring at a monitor for a long period leads to bad posture, which in turn causes back pain. If you are looking to reduce your neck or back pain, a standing desk could be the perfect solution.
3. Lower Risks of Heart Diseases
In 1953, a study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as their colleagues in the driver’s seats. Since then, scientists have developed a much greater understanding of the effects of sitting on heart health, with prolonged sedentary time thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%. It might be harmful sitting all day but there is no doubt that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.
4. Improves Mood and Enhances Energy
When you are standing, your brain becomes more engaged which can increase your energy. By standing up, you can engage your entire body, including your mind. Standing gives you a little energy boost as coffee does.
Standing helps your blood flow easily which sends more oxygen to your muscles. Standing at your desk has been shown to improve your mood and reduce depression, fatigue, and tension.
5. Increases Concentration
Standing pumps blood around your body and to your brain, thereby increasing your brain function. Also, standing allows moving which enhances the creation of new brain cells, improving critical thinking and focus.
On a survey, 71% of people who used standing desks said they felt more focused than when they were sitting in a chair at their desks. An increase in mood and energy levels leads to better concentration at work.
6. Boosts Productivity
Standing is better for you than sitting all day as it gives you the ability to move more while you are working. Increased blood circulation to the brain causes the brain to function more efficiently which ultimately boosts productivity.
Standing at your desk has been shown to raise productivity by up to 45%. The boost in mood and energy, as well as the reduction in back, shoulder, and neck pain, is likely to improve productivity.
7. Ergonomics and Better Posture
Sitting can put a lot of stress on your spine, especially if you are not practicing proper ergonomics. Stress on your spine my leads to many serious problems. By choosing to stand, your spine will elongate and become less strained. Standing will help promote better posture while giving your spine some relief.
8. Helps Reduce Stress Levels
Everyone gets stressed out at work especially when there is a deadline. Standing gives you have the opportunity to stretch those tired muscles and shake off a bit of that fatigue and frustration.
A lot of people who have standing desks use things such as standing mats, balance boards, treadmills, or even exercise bikes. It boosts energy levels and diverts you from stress for a while, which has a positive effect on reducing stress levels.
9. Beneficial to Legs and Joints
Sitting all day long not only leads to weight gain but also has adverse effects on joints and bones. When you slouch in your chair, it restricts leg activity. It limits the joint and muscle movement.
It might lead to bone decay and joint swelling. With the standing desk, you can stretch your legs. It allows proper blood circulation to the lower part of the body. Hence ensures healthy joints and bones. Lack of activity may cause weak bones and even osteoporosis.
10. Increased Creativity
Apart from getting your blood pumping and increasing circulation to the body and the brain, standing up also gets your creativity pumping. The increase in energy, improved mood, and creativity are interrelated, one thing triggers others, and so on.
Standing at your desk also keeps your mind and heart engaged. Increased blood flow powers up your brain which lets your core processor function at peak capacity giving creative ideas.
11. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
An increase in blood sugar level is not beneficial to health, which means your chances of becoming diabetic are high. Sitting all day in a chair barely burn any calories but standing burns around 50 calories an hour.
A small study of 10 office workers showed that standing for 185 minutes after lunch reduced the workers’ blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting for the same period. This indicates that the decrease in blood sugar levels was a function of standing. You can reduce blood sugar spikes and your risk of diabetes just by using a standing desk.
12. Increases Your Lifespan
Studies suggest that reducing your sedentary time will increase your life expectancy. As we explained how long sitting sessions increases the chances of having diabetes, heart disease, bone diseases, and other diseases. By reducing your sitting time, you ultimately are lowering your risk for these health issues and increasing your lifespan.