If you are unsure of whether you should purchase a standing desk, then you are probably wondering if doing so will benefit you as much as everyone claims it will.
This article will cover the major benefits of utilizing a standing desk.
Also, be sure to check out this video about the benefits of a standing desk from the Mayo Clinic.
Dangers of Sitting and the Rise of Standing Desks
Sitting can be terrible for our health and many people sit for hours every day. This can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease among other ailments. Sitting also burns fewer calories than standing and it is associated with obesity.
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So, sitting is bad for you.
However, does that mean that a standing desk is good for you?
A standing desk allows you to stand comfortably while completing work.
A lot of options are manually or electronically adjustable so that you can go from sitting to standing in just a few moments. There are a lot of research-backed benefits of using a standing desk that we will look at.
Reduced Risk of Obesity
When we sit, we burn fewer calories and when we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight. By standing instead of sitting, you can burn up to 50 extra calories every hour. Sometimes this could be even more than that!
This means that even if you only stand for 3 hours each day while you are at work, you will still burn 750 to 1000 more calories in a week than you would if you were sitting for those three hours. This is equal to 8 pounds of fat in a year, all from effortless standing while you are at work.
This is also great because a lot of us do not have the time or energy, especially after work, to get out to the gym. This is a great way to add to the calories burned without having to work out every day (although it is still recommended that you exercise when possible!).
Obesity can lead to aches and pains, heart disease, diabetes, fatigue, and more. Using a standing desk can help you fight against those things and stay healthy without using any personal time!
Not only that, but a standing desk will promote more movement and give you more of an opportunity to do light exercises throughout the day. A lot of exercises and stretches only take a minute or so and will be much easier to do while you are standing.
Finally, if you are already standing you will be more likely to move and walk around during breaks. Taking short walks a couple of times every day will burn even more calories!
Reduced Back Pain
People who work all day at a traditional, sitting desk often develop back pain. Not only that, but it does not take much time to begin to ease back pain. There have been a few different studies regarding back pain and standing desks.
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One study showed a 32 percent reduction in back pain after several weeks. Another study determined that back and neck pain was reduced by 54 percent in only four weeks.
Not only that, but when people went back to using a sitting desk without any standing, the back pain returned.
Lower Blood Sugar
Large spikes in blood sugar can be bad for your overall health. In addition, it can raise your risk of developing diabetes. This is because there is a link between a sedentary lifestyle and diabetes. Studies are promising the positive effects that a standing desk can have on blood sugar levels.
One study showed that 3 hours of standing after lunch could reduce the spike in blood sugar by as much as 43 percent when compared to sitting for 3 hours after lunch. This study also controlled the number of steps to ensure that the spike came from standing instead of sitting.
Another study showed that when the participants alternated between sitting and standing every thirty minutes throughout the workday, they showed lower blood sugar spikes. The blood sugar spikes were reduced by an average of 11.1 percent.
Not only do blood sugar spikes increase your risk of developing diabetes, but there are additional negative effects. Blood sugar spikes can cause fatigue, headaches, blurry vision, and more.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. If there is a way to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, wouldn’t you want to? Well, as it turns out, the research indicates that standing may be associated with lowered risk.
Research from back in 1953 shows that bus operators who stood all day had half the risk of death caused by heart disease than the operators who sat for the same amount of time. Years later, there has been much more research that indicates similar benefits.
One study showed that a sedentary lifestyle increased heart disease-related death by 90 percent. It also determined that it was linked with a 147 percent increase in heart disease events.
Therefore, sitting can increase your risk of heart disease and standing can fight against that risk.
There is also research that suggests that an hour of intense exercise may not be enough to counteract the negative effects of sitting for an entire day.
However, you should still exercise, but the best way to combat these negative effects of sitting would be to sit less, and what better way to do that than to use a standing desk?
Sitting and a sedentary lifestyle have been connected to mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Although it is unclear which is the cause and which is the effect, research does seem to suggest that using a standing desk may improve mood.
One study focused on stress and fatigue. This study was conducted with 24 office workers who were given standing desks to use during the workday.
The participants who used standing desks reported lower stress levels and less fatigue than their peers who sat at traditional desks during the workday.
Furthermore, these positive effects were found when the reduction in sitting time was only an average of 66 minutes.
Additionally, the responses showed 87 percent of the participants felt more comfortable and more energized.
They also felt healthier, more productive, more focused, and less stressed. Finally, when the standing desks were removed, the improvement in mood diminished.
A lot of people wonder whether their work will suffer when they switch to a standing desk after being used to sitting all day while completing tasks.
Well, it may be true that you may have to get used to using a standing desk, but once you do it does not seem to negatively impact productivity. The people who use standing desks seem to be more productive.
The upsurge in productivity is likely due to several different reasons.
The reduction in back pain and boost in energy and mood may be the reason that people tend to be more productive when using a standing desk as opposed to a traditional desk.
This study found that there was a significant improvement in productivity in the participants who used a standing desk.
There was a 53 percent improvement throughout the study.
An additional study on students and their engagement in the classroom showed a 12 percent increase in engagement for classrooms that utilized standing desks.
There seems to be evidence to suggest that there is a connection between the amount of time spent sitting and early death. This may be because of the reduction in diabetes and heart disease risk.
A review of 18 separate studies found that people who sit the most have a 49 percent increased risk of dying early than the people who sat the least amount of time.
A different study estimated that a reduction in sitting time could prolong life. They estimated that a reduction in sitting time of 3 hours per day could increase life expectancy by 2 years.
When we sit at a desk all day, we tend to get up and move very little. However, movement is great for our overall physical and mental health.
Using a standing desk can make it more likely to take short walks, stretch, and incorporate movement into your daily routine.
Movement and light exercise is very good for us. Any amount of light exercise can be beneficial. Using a standing desk can help us incorporate light exercise by taking short walks or taking 1-minute breaks to stretch or doing simple exercises.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Using a Standing Desk
A standing desk can be healthy and help you prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
If you need more reasons to purchase a standing desk, they may even increase your productivity and improve your mood.
A lot of people decide to get a standing desk to ease their back pain as well as other aches. However, there are tons of other good reasons to purchase a standing desk!