There appear to be more and more standing desks these days in workplaces and office supply stores. What are the benefits of the standing desk and should you get one too?
Well, after some research I would say that it really depends on your body, what it needs and how active you are. Prolonged sitting is unhealthy, but people who work on a job that requires standing all day know that standing for hours is not all that good for you either.
Here is what I found when I decided to find out the benefits of the standing desk:
Standing Burns More Calories
Studies have shown that standing burns more calories than sitting. This could help in reducing obesity. When using a standing desk your heart beats and average of 10 beats faster per minute compared to when you are sitting down. Standing desk users have been found to burn an additional 20.4 calories per hour while standing at their desks. If you used a standing desk for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week then you would burn at least an extra 306 calories per week.
Prolonged Sitting & Health Risks
The Mayo Clinic reports that research has linked long periods of sitting with health issues such as obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and cholesterol. It also increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Also it seems that if you go to the gym or do some other type of physical activity it doesn’t seem to offset the risk because of the extending period of sitting time.
Standing Desks Get You Out Of Your Chair
Experts are saying that sitting at your desk too long is also bad for your mental well-being.
Research at the Loughborough University found that 70% of the workers surveyed did not get enough physical activity. They found that the people who sat down for long periods during work hours were more likely to be inactive after work hours as well. One of the main obvious benefits of using a a standing desk is that it gets you up and out of your chair.
Physical Inactivity Linked To Cancer
Many types of cancers have been linked to physical inactivity. It seems that the longer you sit the higher your risk of cancer. It is the long and uninterrupted periods of sitting that are the most unhealthy. Even 1 to 2 minute breaks can reduce the levels of the molecules that are linked with the cancer risk. Doing a 30 minute workout per day is beneficial but it is the recommended to take small breaks from sitting during the day as well. Just a few minutes of light exercise in between can protect and lower the risk.
Computer Work & Heart Disease
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology has published a study where researches found that people who spend more than 4 hours a day sitting in front of a computer had double the risk of death or hospitalization from heart disease.
Reduce Back & Neck Pain
Sitting all day can sometimes cause back and neck pain because of the prolonged sitting. Studies have concluded that moving from a seated to a standing position every half an hour during the workday led to a significant reduction in lower back pain in overweight office workers and helped them to stay productive.
Another study also concluded that upper back pain and neck pain as well as mood states were improved also by using a sit stand desk.
The Right Balance
I think there needs to be a balance. One of the main benefits of the standing desk is that you can break up long periods of sitting down and still get on with your work without having to stop and do some other type of physical activity. You can keep working and not lose your momentum. That is when it can be useful especially if you are someone who doesn’t get up for much during your workday or gets a sore back after sitting for too long. But even with a standing desk it is still important to get up and walk or move around in between tasks to stay healthy.
Have you ever thought about buying a standing desk ? Or maybe you already have one. Comments are welcome.