6 benefits of a standing desk
6 benefits of a standing deskMany of us spend much of our workday behind a desk – sitting. In addition, we often sit in our car or in public transport commuting to and from work. Then, when getting home from work we tend to throw ourselves on the couch after a long day.Unfortunately, this is not healthy for either your body or your overall well-being. Sitting too much throughout the day can lead to everything from type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer to early death.Research shows that office workers sit for an average of 11 hours each day.To help prevent these consequences and get a more active day at work, a height-adjustable desk may be the thing for you. It allows you to simply alternate between sitting and standing as you feel appropriate. When standing, you automatically shift your weight and move around. Therefore, a height-adjustable desk is a great way for you to vary your working position. Your body is designed to be active – not to be sedentary for several hours in a row.Below, we have gathered 6 benefits you will gain simply by using a standing desk.
1) You increase your metabolismAs soon as you move from sitting to standing up your heart rate will increase and so will your metabolism. In fact, you can burn off the number of calories corresponding to 6 marathons in one year simply by standing rather than sitting at work.Let’s look at the calculation:
- When you stand up you increase your muscle activity, which leads to approx. 10 extra heartbeats per minute.
- Those extra heartbeats will burn 0.7 extra calories per minute, which corresponds to 42 calories per hour.
- If you stand up for 2 hours each workday (5 days/week) you will burn approximately 420 extra calories each week.
- An average person (70 kilos) burns approximately 2,900 calories when running a marathon.
- That means that a person standing up for those two hours each workday will burn the number of calories corresponding to running a marathon, in just 7 weeks.
2) Reduction of pain
Pain in the shoulder, neck, and back is one of the biggest complaints of office workers who are sitting down all day long. In fact, back pain is an issue that 80% of adults will experience in their lifetimes.
According to research, the impact of using a height-adjustable desk has proven to be enormously efficient in reducing long-term back pain. One study showed that people who spent an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain.
This can be explained by the fact that once you stand up you allow yourself to vary your working postures, which will release the tension in your body.
3) Prevention of lifestyle diseases
With too much sedentary work you increase your risk of several lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer.
Researchers have been studying the benefits of standing for many decades and they all come to the same conclusions. The findings show that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a 147% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events and a 90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality as compared to an active lifestyle.
Furthermore, people with large spikes in blood sugar have a much higher risk of becoming diabetic. Extensive evidence has proven that you can reduce blood sugar spikes and thereby the risk of diabetes just by standing.
4) Improved overall well-being
Several studies have shown that you increase your energy level and overall well-being just by standing.
One specific study found that workers who increased their standing time at work by up to 60 to 90 minutes were more active and felt more energized compared to workers who were sitting throughout their workday.
Why is that?
When you sit down, you reduce both the blood and oxygen supply to your brain. That has a negative impact on your brain’s functionality. However, when you get up from your chair, fresh blood and oxygen will immediately reach the brain. That will increase your energy level.
5) Strengthens your muscles
When you are physically active, like standing, you build up the muscles in your body. On the other hand, you break down the muscles when you are physically inactive.
Every time you stand up, there is an increased load on your legs, ankles, knees, hips, and core muscles compared to when you are sitting. This means, that while you are sitting, your muscles are not activated.
The load on your muscles, when standing up, affects your bones positively and strengthens them. In addition, this may also help prevent osteoporosis.
6) Increased productivity, concentration, and creativity
As mentioned earlier, once you stand your blood starts pumping faster and you are increasing the overall blood circulation in the body and to the brain. This activity also causes the brain to produce more nerve cells that have a positive impact on brain function.
In other words, your brain needs physical activity to function at its best. By standing, you can help your brain doing just that.
All that increased blood flow means you will be able to “think on your feet” which will help you feel more focused, being more productive, and get your creativity pumping.
Get ready to get up
So, reducing sedentary time can improve both your physical and mental health. Therefore, you need to make it a priority to change your lifestyle to sitting less and standing more.
We recommend you, to take it easy in the beginning. Build up your standing time gradually over a series of weeks and months. You will soon experience all the benefits.