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Have you wondered about the benefits of standing desks? Ask yourself – when was the last time you stood up from your cozy chair or that luxurious couch to straighten your back and neck?

benefits of standing desk featured image

Didn’t it feel so relaxing while elevating your feel-good hormones?

With 9+ hours spent sitting in front of your office desk and the rest spent scrolling through your smartphone sitting on the sofa, we hardly ever stand, let alone exercise!

Now, you might be wondering why we are focusing more on standing while sitting is so relaxing. The fact is sitting a lot can be pretty bad for your health. 

How so?

Office workers or individuals who sit for long hours without any break tend to be at risk of various health problems, including neck and back issues, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, or even early death.

Not just that, sitting throughout the day burns a minimal number of calories.

It has even been backed by many studies that link it to obesity, weight gain, and poor health. Undoubtedly, it is a severe problem, especially for the 9 to 5 office workers or entrepreneurs, who sit in front of their computer screen all day long. 

In order to evade this issue, standing desks have taken the market by storm. Today, multinational corporations, start-ups, and individual buyers are using a standing desk to improve health and enhance overall productivity. 

But what exactly defines a standing desk?

Standing Desk: What is it?

Basically, a standing desk or sit-stand desk is designed to help you alter your position while working in front of a computer screen. While the basic ones are tailored to fit generic height standards, modern ones can be adjusted as per your convenience and comfort. 

These variants are known as sit-stand desks or height-adjustable desks. Many researches have suggested that using a standing desk is a great way to increase your productivity.

Even if it doesn’t help you a lot, it surely does negate the detrimental effects of sitting for long periods. 

So, now that you know how essential a standing desk is – let us discuss the health benefits of using a standing desk. 

Standing Desks: Benefits to Bring Home

Lowered Risk of Obesity and Weight Gain:

What fastens the weight gain process? It happens when you take in more calories than the amount you burn down through daily exercises or other activities.

So, if you are seeking ways to weight loss, make sure you burn a higher amount of calories than the quantity you consume. And, this is not going to happen when you sit all day long. Right?

women on scale happy

While we understand that exercising is an effective method to burn down those extra calories quickly, a good mix of standing and sitting also brings you a plethora of benefits you need for a healthy tomorrow and weight loss.

When you compare the number of calories burned in an afternoon sitting around doing nothing with the same duration spent standing, you will lose about 170 calories more doing the latter. It is about 1200 calories extra burnt throughout the week by just standing at your desk.[1] 

This major caloric difference is one of those multiple reasons as to which you might be vulnerable to metabolic or obesity-related diseases. 

Brings Down Your Blood Sugar Level:

We all know how high blood sugar spikes can wreak havoc on your health. From obesity to hormonal disorder or from diabetes to insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels can bring your entire health down.

While the meal you eat defines how your sugar level increases or decreases, you have to work out ways to bring down that spike. 

blood sugar accesories

For example, if you happen to stand about 180-200 minutes post-lunch instead of sitting around, you will notice a 43% reduced spike in blood sugar levels.[2]

You burn a higher calorie amount along with glucose to generate some energy to keep standing for long hours as you work on your desk. 

These harmful consequences of sitting post meals or throughout the day tend to explain why a sedentary lifestyle could increase your chance of getting diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by 112% or more.[3] 

Decreased Risk of Being Diagnosed with Heart Diseases:

Although the research around a sit-stand desk is fairly new, the idea was actually proposed in 1953, suggesting that a standing desk is ideal for your heart health.

With time, researchers have brought along different techniques, technologies, as well as designs to boost up the benefits of a standing desk. 

Keep in mind that sitting around a computer monitor for prolonged hours is known to increase your chances of being diagnosed with various heart diseases.

Whether it is Atherosclerosis, CHD, CAD, Cardiomyopathy, or Heart Infections, a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of you being diagnosed with the same by 147% and more![4]

Sitting for long hours is so deteriorating that surprisingly an hour-long exercising session might not actually help bring down the detrimental effects of sitting the whole day.

So, the key is to balance out the sitting and standing hours without compromising on the work quality. 

While you might not be able to motivate yourself to stand during your work hours, a sit-stand desk definitely helps. So, the key is to opt for standing desks that are designed to promote blood flow and better heart health. 

Reduced Back Pain:

Most of the 9 to 5 office workers, including call center employees, bus drivers, bus conductors, sit for long hours and suffer from back pain.

Apart from this, the added weight gain leads to prolonged stress on the back, neck, and legs, which comes from a sedentary lifestyle when you sit around. 

back pain from sitting

Several studies suggest that standing desks help bring down the back pain substantially and strengthen your leg muscles. Participants in this study also reported about 32% improvement in back pain along with boosted enthusiasm and productivity. 

Another study conducted & published by the Centre for Disease Control found that regular use of the sit-stand desk reduces the pain in the upper back & neck area by 54% in a term of just four weeks.[5]

Not just that, removal of these sit-stand desks happened to reverse all the positive effects in just about 2-weeks.[6]

In case of chronic pain, prolonged sitting can further aggravate the same. So, standing desks are the key to reduce your pain and help you focus more on the task at hand. 

Improved Energy Level and Mood:

As discussed in the pointers above, a standing desk helps you tackle issues such as heart diseases, obesity, high blood sugar, back pain, and more. With all these benefits, you experience a boost in your energy level and an uplifted mood.

In a study conducted for 7-weeks, it has been found that participants who used standing desks mentioned lowered stress levels and fatigue as compared to the individuals who remained seated for the entire day or during work hours.

Apart from this, about 87% of individuals report an increased amount of energy and vigor throughout the workweek.

Moreover, when they returned to their generic old desks, the overall mood meter reverted to the original level with decreased enthusiasm and energy level. These findings related to standing aligns more towards mental health, depression, back and neck pain, or similar issues that may occur due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Further, this study also revealed that sitting around for long hours over the years could lead to issues like anxiety, fatigue, and stress.[7] 

Enhanced Productivity:

A common analysis with standing desks or stand-up desks is the fact that they might hinder your daily work routine, especially if it involves typing. Now, we understand that standing during your office hours might require some time to get used to; using the standing desks might not actually have any significant impact on the project-related tasks. 

enhanced productivity man on laptop

A study that was conducted on 60 young employees in an office helped determine that the use of a stand-up desk for a minimum of 4 hours a day had minimal to no impact with regard to a typing error.

Yes, the transition might not be easy at first, but it definitely brings in a range of benefits than sitting around. 

Given the fact that standing helps add to your energy and mood, the use of a stand-up desk is highly likely to enhance productivity.[8] 

Reduced Caffeine Dependency:

We all are guilty of depending on a big, strong cup of coffee to get through a busy day. And, with time, you won’t even realize how dependent you have become on caffeine & the rush it brings.

As per studies, it has been understood that individuals that consume about 100mg of caffeine daily tend to develop a long-term dependency. [9]

Trying to shed off this dependency comes with a range of side effects that include stiffness, muscle pain, headaches, depression, nausea, and more. However, the key is to slow down the intake while pairing this with other feel-good activities such as the use of standing desks. 

Standing periodically is a better motivator to help you tackle that afternoon crash as compared to coffee or tea minus the dependency issue. So, the next time you reach out for that cup of coffee, try to replace it with 30 minutes of standing + working session. 

Standing Adds into Your Healthy Years:

Studies through the years have confirmed that sitting for long hours year-in and year-out is related to an early death. Now, this is in no way surprising given the fact that we decoded the strong relation between your sedentary time, heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes. 

women leaning back at desk

Not just that, a scientific review of 18 different studies determined that the individuals that sit for long hours are at 49% higher risk of early death as opposed to the ones that sit for shorter hours.[10]

Another study also estimated that reduced sitting hours to a minimum of 3-hours a day did raise the overall life expectancy by two years and more.

In short, the longer you stand, the longer you live. So, don’t you think it’s time to invest in a reliable standing desk sooner than later?

Now that we know the benefits of a standing desk – let us decode the right way to use them.

Standing Desks: How to use them the right way?

two women and standing desk

As per experts, the right way to make use of a standing desk is far more complex than you might actually think. Here are some ways to do this the right way:

  • In order to gather the standing desk benefits, the key is to switch your standing and sitting hours. Do this several times throughout the day to ensure there isn’t any side effect or pain from the same. 
  • As you start, make sure it’s just for 30 minutes at max. Going all out on your very first day or first week of using a standing desk could result in body pain, foot pain, knee pain, abrasion, and so on. 
  • Keep in mind that you need to wear comfortable shoes such as slippers or flats. Wearing shoes such as boots or heels might cause pain when you stand for long periods of time. Additionally, you can use a mat or cushion to add to the support factor. 
  • After every thirty minutes or more, depending on your endurance, leave the desk & take a quick walk to help keep the blood flowing throughout the body and especially your legs. 
  • Do not expect that standing without any exercising sessions could not be considered a healthy choice. The key is to mix it up and develop a healthy concoction. 
  • Standing for long hours can be just as bad as sitting for the same interval. So, keep in mind that sitting and standing should be balanced out in the right way. 
  • Do not forget to keep yourself hydrated. The right way to burn extra calories and keep your body healthy is to stay hydrated while you stand. In case you are someone who forgets the same, set a timer or alarm that would help remind you of this healthy habit. 
  • Make sure you couple up your standing sessions with yoga moves meant for shoulders, neck, legs, and the lower back.
  • Further, you have to work on your posture. If you keep standing with a bad posture, it will work against you instead of benefitting you and may lead to back and neck pain.

Also read: How often should you get up from your desk and move around?

Conclusion

So, it is the right time to stand up for your health and stand using a standing desk. Further, reducing your sedentary time will surely improve the metabolic, physical, and mental health issues, especially in the long run. 

When new to this standing work module, you might experience some fatigue or musculoskeletal sensations. The reason behind it is that your body is yet to adapt to the new work methodology. It would surely decrease with practice. 

In case the exhaustion or pain doesn’t decrease, you might benefit from visiting a physician to check if there is something wrong with your health. And, keep in mind; always buy a standing desk that will stand by you through the years! Happy Shopping!

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