Sitting too much is really bad for your health. The benefits of using a standing desk will amaze you!
People who are sedentary for long periods of time have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and potentially risk an early death.
Also, when sitting your body will burn a lot fewer calories. There are many scientific studies that have linked sitting with gaining weight and obesity.
The people who are most at risk are those who work in offices since they sit in their chairs working on the computer for almost all of the day.
Fortunately, an answer to this problem is a standing desk.
Standing Desk Benefits
What is a Standing Desk?
It is basically a desk that allows you to stand up or sit down comfortably while you work. They are also called stand-up desks and sit-stand desks. In addition, there are also standing desk converters which are unit that sits on top of your desk and transforms your desk into a standing desk.
Many standing desk versions are adjustable so that you can adjust the height of the desk and switch between standing and sitting.
These are referred to as sit-stand desks or height-adjustable desks.
Research continues to support that a standing desk can have very good benefits for your health. In addition, it may also increase your productivity.
The worst case scenario is if you use one of these desks you can partially reduce the harmful effects of being sedentary.
The following are 6 benefits of using a standing desk, that is supported by scientific studies:
1. Standing Lowers Your Risk of Obesity and Weight Gain
Weight gain is caused by taking in more calories than you burn. Therefore, burning more calories than you take in will result in weight loss.
Of course, exercise is by far the most effective way to burn calories quickly and lose weight. However, simply choosing to stand instead of sitting can also help to burn more calories.
Compared to working in an office sitting down, an equal amount of time spent standing has shown to burn over 170+ additional calories.
Therefore, if you stand at your desk instead of sitting you will burn an extra 1000 extra calories each week.
This is why sitting for long periods of time is linked to metabolic diseases and obesity.
2. You Can Help to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Using a Standing
In general, the more your blood sugar levels increase after eating, the worse it is for your health.
In a small scientific study of 10 workers in an office that was standing for 180+ minutes after eating lunch reduced their blood sugar spike by 43% compared to if they were sitting for the same amount of time.
In the study, both groups of office workers were instructed to take the same amount of steps. Therefore, this indicated that the smaller spike was due to standing rather than additional physical movement.
The harmful effects of being sedentary after meals may explain why excessive sitting may be linked to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Standing May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
In 1953 it was proposed that standing may be better than sitting for your health.
One study found that bus drivers who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as their colleagues that were in the bus driver seats all day.
Since then, scientists have gained a much greater understanding of the effects of sitting on heart health, with prolonged sitting time thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
The effects of sitting for long periods of time are so harmful that even adding an hour of intense exercise may not negate the negative effects of being sedentary all day.
The consensus is that spending more time standing is very beneficial for heart health.
4. A Standing Desk May Reduce Back Pain
Back and neck pain are one of the most common problems of office workers who sit at their desks all day.
Studies have been done on people with long-term back pain and the participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after many weeks of using standing desks.
In addition, the CDC found in another study that using a sit-stand desk reduced neck pain and upper back pain by 54% after just 4 weeks.
An important point to note was the removal of the sit-stand desks actually reversed some of those improvements the participants gained within a 2-week period.
5. Improve Energy Levels and Mood with a Standing Desk
Standing desks have a positive influence on your overall well-being. In a 7-week standing desk study, participants using standing desks had reported a reduction in fatigue and stress than those who were sitting the entire workday. Also, 87% of those using a standing desk reported increased energy and clarity throughout the day.
Again, when the participants returned back to their old desks and began sitting all day, their overall moods reverted to their original stress levels.
Research links sedentary time with an increased risk of both anxiety and depression.
6. Standing Instead of Sitting May Help You Live Longer
Scientific studies have linked prolonged sitting and early death. This comes as no surprise with the strong association between sitting time, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
18 studies found that people who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying an early death than those who are sitting for a significantly less amount of time.
One study estimated that reducing sedentary time to three hours per day would raise the average American life expectancy by up to 2 years.
More studies still need to be done. However, the evidence indicates standing more often could certainly help us live longer.
Reducing the time you are sitting can improve metabolic, physical and even mental health. This is why sitting less and standing more during the day is such an important lifestyle to embrace.
If you plan to start using a standing desk, it’s recommended you split your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.