How Using Standing Desks at Work Can Help You Stay Healthy
They say that health is wealth; in that case, wealth may be found in the many benefits of a standing desk. On the face of it, that sentence may not make a lot of sense. However, as we detail the litany of health issues that are derived from office work, it will all come together. Staying healthy at the office may take more attention to detail than you realized.
First, let’s start with the fact that 86% of American workers sit behind a desk all day every day. Then let’s add that 70% of those full-time workers hate all the sitting they do. Last but not least, those same Americans tack on another 4-8 hours of sitting at home while watching TV, gaming, “lounging” and using their computers. Tally it all up and the typical American sits for an average of 13 hours a day. (source)
That’s a serious amount of sitting. What’s even more shocking are all the health issues that stem from so much sitting. Consider this quote published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Worldwide, it is estimated that a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer and 10% of colon cancer cases. In fact, it was recently reported that inactivity is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking.” The fact that a sedentary lifestyle may be more damaging than smoking should get every American office worker’s attention.
Benefits of a Standing Desk
So now that you know how damaging a sedentary lifestyle can be, what should you do about it? First and foremost, look into buying a standing desk or sit-stand desk converter, much like what VersaDesk offers. It may sound awful but the benefits of a standing desk could literally be life-saving. A standing desk doesn’t mean you’ll be standing for 8 hours a day as opposed to sitting.
In fact, standing that much isn’t great for your health either. No, the benefits of standing desks are found in their ability to change positions quickly and easily without affecting your productivity. By shifting from standing to sitting throughout the work day, you’ll be burning calories, improving your mood, increasing blood circulation in your legs, relieving tension in your back and even strengthening your bones! The truth is there’s a laundry list of benefits of a standing desk. It may seem like a reach but the truth is breaking up periods of sitting goes a long long way toward living a healthy life. But wait, there’s more!
The Little Things:
You Are What You Eat and Drink
We have listed the many benefits of a standing desk, however, it is not the only way to stay healthy at work. One obvious factor is what you eat. A daily double meat burrito from Chipotle may not seem like the worst but it’s not good. According to the New York Post, office workers eat an extra 100,000 calories a year. Much of that 100,000 is due to snacking: chips, cookies, and candies all add up. Taking care of what goes into your body is just as important as what you do with it.
Along that same line of thinking is the importance of hydration. Our bodies are mostly water and it turns out drinking it is very important. Without proper hydration you could be damaging your kidneys, causing joint pain, headaches, nausea and more. Dehydration can even affect your mood. Cutting back on the sugary drinks and replacing it with water is a surefire way to feel better throughout the workday.
Keep It Moving
A standing desk benefits the office worker by breaking up periods of inactivity. Yet, a standing desk isn’t the only way to do that. There are a number of exercises that can be done quickly and easily without actually leaving your desk. We covered them in more detail here. Squats, lunges and inclined push-ups are all easy ways to keep your body healthy. Another good idea is taking a 5-10 minute walk around the office a few times a day. Plan a water refill as part of your walk. Anything that stops the prolonged periods of sitting will fit the bill.
In 2018, more jobs than ever require long hours of sitting at a desk. That is why more and more companies are seeing the benefits of standing desks and actually buying them for their workforce. This is not only because studies show that their workforce is more healthy, but also, more productive. So whether it’s a standing desk or 20 minutes of exercise, office workers should be doing something to protect their long-term health.