Standing desks are an excellent alternative for overcoming sedentary lifestyles in the office by allowing the person to stand comfortably while working. So it is not surprising that they are becoming very popular around the world.
Although this is not a recent invention, but has been around for many years, the modern version of this equipment, also known as height adjustable desks, gives us the possibility to alternate between sitting and standing while working. This is because we can adjust the height of the desk and it also has a chair that we can move out of the way while standing.
It’s no secret that sitting for long periods of time makes us more susceptible to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death, but as if this were not enough, sitting for long periods of time burns very few calories and something that many studies have linked to weight gain and obesity.
For all these reasons, using standing desks could make a big difference to our health and well-being. In addition, since it is advisable to divide the time between standing and sitting at a 50-50 ratio. So if you are interested in knowing, what are the benefits of standing desks for your health, below, we bring you some of them.
Main benefits of using standing desks
1. Using standing desks could help you lose weight.
We know very well that using standing desks in the office is no substitute for real exercise and that the best way to be fit and healthy is regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. But, just standing instead of sitting can help you burn 50 calories per hour.
While this may not seem like much, by using your desk standing for say up to 3 hours a day, that number adds up. But if you were to stand for 5 work days, it would equate to 750 calories a week. Which, if we project that out over the course of a full year, we could be talking about 30,000 extra calories burned, or the equivalent of 8 pounds of fat. In terms of activity levels, these 30,000 calories would be the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year.
2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels.
Although we can expect our blood sugar levels to rise especially after a meal and people who have high blood sugar levels have a higher risk of becoming diabetic and suffering from other health conditions.
Many of us seem to ignore this. But what we can’t ignore is that sitting for long periods of time can cause your blood sugar levels to rise after meals. This fact is especially true for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
However, standing at standing desks after lunch can do you a lot of good. This was attested to by some office workers who participated in a small study with a sample of 10 people. Those who stood for 180 minutes after lunch helped reduce the risk of a blood sugar spike by 43% compared to those who sat for the same amount of time.
3. Standing desks may reduce the risk of heart disease.
The idea that standing is best for heart health was first proposed in 1953. It stemmed from a study that found that bus drivers who stood all day had a 50% lower risk of heart disease-related death than their colleagues who had seats.
Since then, scientists have developed a much greater understanding of the effects of sitting on heart health. And so it is believed that prolonged sitting increases the risk of heart disease by as much as 147%. Undoubtedly, this is another reason to use standing desks, knowing that by sitting we will have fewer heart problems.
4. Reduce back pain.
Back pain is a condition that 80% of adults will experience in their lifetime. But it is also one of the biggest complaints of those who work in offices sitting all day.
For this reason several studies have looked at the impact of using standing desks on office workers with prolonged back pain. One of them is the study called “Project Take-a-Stand” conducted in 2011. In which it was revealed that after a seven-week period, 54% of participants who spent an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing experienced a reduction in back and neck pain. Imagine then what standing could do for you!
5. Boost productivity
One of the most common misconceptions about standing desks is that they make everyday tasks such as typing or answering calls more difficult. Also, while it may take a little time to get used to standing while working, those who have used standing desks have not seen a significant impact on their typical work tasks.
In fact, the same Take-a-Stand study found that 66% of participants felt more productive than before while using their standing desks. This is because, while standing they felt a better mood and higher energy levels.
6. Increased mood and energy.
Going into more detail with this, the research suggests that the improved mood and higher energy levels are mainly due to reduced stress and fatigue. For those who used standing desks reported feeling less stressed and fatigued when working, as well as more active, alert and focused.
All this is because standing makes you pump blood around your body and to your brain, thus increasing your brain function. But, just as importantly, all that blood flow causes the synapses to activate, which also allows ideas to flow and creativity to increase.
What’s curious is that after the standing desks were removed and people returned to their traditional desks, participants reported a deterioration in mood and energy levels.
7. Live longer
Considering that standing is a lower risk for many health problems, it stands to reason that living longer is another benefit of using standing desks.
But if you are looking for more basis for this statement, we can say that there are a lot of studies that show how dangerous it is for our overall health to sit for long periods of time. So using standing desks in your office can make a significant difference to you and your health.