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We’ve said many times before that sitting all day is harmful to your health. The Harvard Medical School, in their 2016 article titled “The truth behind standing desks,” the dangers of excessive sitting as heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, cancer (especially breast and colon cancers), and premature death.
With more and more people becoming aware of the dangers of sedentary lifestyles, the standing desk has become a trend recently. It lets you work while standing, significantly minimizing your sitting time and shielding your body from these dangers to your health.
Most people have grown fond of these desks because they let you enjoy the best of both worlds (i.e., they easily switch between sitting and standing). This guide discusses, in more detail, why stand-up desks have become a hot cake among office workers.
Why a sit-stand desk is highly popular today:
Though the first standing desk dates back to the 1400s, the modern computer standing desk has only become popular in workplaces in recent years. The MAIN reason standing workstations have become so popular is the health benefits it offers office workers.
While more research is still underway around these desks, experts already agree that they help reduce the time on your office chair and prevent the sedentary epidemic.
In other words, the best standing desk will help undo all the effects long hours of sitting have on your health. It will minimize the risk of weight gain, and cardiovascular disease, improve your blood sugar levels, etc.
Let’s look at the factors fueling everyone to move toward the stand-up desk…
Increasing research on the risks of the sedentary lifestyle
New studies are being conducted every day surrounding the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
With all these researches highlighting the dangers of prolonged sitting hours, office workers aren’t taking chances. They are trying everything possible to fight the sitting diseases.
Standing workstations appeal to them as one of the ways to combat sedentary life since they enable them to balance between sitting and standing.
In an 8-hour workday, you can sit for 4 hours and stand for the remainder 4 hours, of course at regular intervals.
The fact that a sit-stand desk saves you from the health risks tied to too much sitting makes it popular for every office worker who is serious about their health and well-being.
Even Harvard Medical School agrees that these dynamic workstations are all the rage and have published an article explaining their benefits to the standing desk users.
Physical and mental health benefits
More and more people are now aware of the health benefits (both mental and physical) offered by standing workstations.
A standing workstation will help you counter the health risks of too much sitting. Whether it’s getting calories burned, improving your blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of back pain, or improving blood circulation.
Moreover, it helps improve your productivity, enhance your mood, and increase your energy levels, increasing your overall performance at work!
Domino effect at play!
We all know how the domino effect works; one event triggers a whole lot of series of other events to occur, one after the other.
This effect seems to have been felt in the standing desk world. These stand-up workstations have sprouted in more offices and workspaces in the US. The ever-appealing work from home set-up photos on social media also heavily feature these desks.
When people see others using them, they become keener in giving them a go. And that’s how their popularity remains high!
Hybrid working and sit-stand desks popularity
The hybrid working method is slowly becoming the new norm. Most employers are now embracing letting their employees split their time between working from home and working in their office.
This flexible work approach gives folks working from home more control over their own workspace health and well-being.
Generally, home offices have limited spaces. With less space to roam around, remote workers find a standing desk convenient to get off their chairs and stay active and energized throughout their workdays.
Some states like Massachusetts and California even require employers to give the work-from-home folks remote stipends. This enables them to get office equipment to comfortably work from home.
This is a source of funds for getting that electric sit-to-stand desk for the remote workers in these states.
More options available at affordable prices
Another contributing factor to the rise of standing is that they’re more options on the markets than ever before. They’re also evenly distributed across the price spectrum.
You can get a fixed height or manually adjustable height desk. There are also electric adjustable height desks and standing desk converters (these transform your existing office desk into a standing desk).
Despite their different styles and designs, they all conform to a single aim—to help you stand while working.
A typical fixed-height standing desk will cost you a mere $100. A decent standing desk converter will cost you approx. $500. Powered, full-size standing workstations are usually expensive and will cost you $1000 and above, but you can also get some exceptionally low-priced options below $200.
As you can see, these desk options have a budget for everyone.
What are the benefits of standing desks?
One of the top contributing factors to the upward trend of stand-up desks is the benefits they offer you. In this part, we have discussed the full benefits you’ll get if you use your standing desk correctly.
Using a standing desk gets more calories burned
One of the potential health benefits of standing workstations is weight loss and a reduced risk of obesity.
Since weight gain comes from taking in more calories than you burn, weight loss is possible if you burn more calories than you take in.
While exercises are the ultimate way to burn calories quickly, time spent standing on your feet while working can burn small amounts of calories.
Standing at your desk each afternoon can help you burn up to 1000 extra calories every week.
Improves your blood sugar levels
A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to type 3 diabetes. The general knowledge is that the more blood sugar increases after meals, the worse your health deteriorates.
When you go back to your chair after meals, you’re simply taking the risk of type 2 diabetes
Luckily, studies have shown that standing workstations can help keep your blood sugar levels in check, especially after a lunch break.
One such study involved 10 office workers who stood for 180 minutes after lunch. And this helps reduce blood sugar spikes by up to 45% compared to sitting for the same period of time.
Since both groups took the same number of steps, his smaller spike was mainly due to standing and not physical movements around the workplace.
Another study involving 23 office workers found that people who alternated between sitting and standing positions every 30 minutes through an 8-hour workday minimized blood sugar spikes up to 11.1% on average.
These studies prove that standing at work will help lower your blood sugar levels and keep you safe from type 2 diabetes.
The sit-stand desks improve your mood and energy levels
These desks can also have a positive impact on your overall well-being. This 7-week study found out that participants who used standing desks reported fewer cases of fatigue than those who sat the entire workday.
Moreover, 87% of those who stood reported increased energy and vigor throughout the workday. And on returning to their conventional desks, their moods reverted to original levels.
A boost in productivity
Your muscles get engaged, and fresh blood pumps to your brain when you stand. This circulation triggers the release of chemicals that keep your brain active and energized while at the same time improving your mood.
When you switch to a standing desk, you’ll notice improved concentration on task completion compared to sitting in the same position for hours.
This 2018 study found that up to 65% of office workers participating in the research reported improved productivity after using standing workspaces.
Another study was carried out on call center employees using standing desks over a period of 6 months. It showed that they become 45% more productive every day compared to their seated workmates.
Say goodbye to back pain
Back pain is one of the most common issues workers who sit all day face. But standing workspaces have been shown to help with this problem.
Studies have been carried out to confirm these claims on an employee with long-term back pain.
In one such study, the employees registered up to 32% improvement in lower back pain after using a standing desk for several weeks. (Source).
Also, this CDC research suggests that using sit-stand desks reduced upper back as well as neck pain by 54% in just 4 weeks.
Are standing desks a gimmick?
Despite the many health benefits a standing desk offers, some folks are still not convinced about investing in them. They believe that these products are simply a fad or a gimmick and don’t positively affect your health.
But how true are these claims?
Well, gimmick products are always there in the health and well-being industry. But one thing we can assure you is that sit-stand desks are NOT one of them.
If you’re a computer user, then you definitely need a desk to place your computer monitor and other work equipment. And the good thing about standing desks is that they’re height-adjustable for sitting or standing positions.
Even if you don’t fall in love with standing while working, you can always switch back to sitting. See, no gimmick here!
A standing desk is a durable product made to serve you for years to come. Well, there may be some low-quality models. But if you invest in the best quality standing desks, they’ll serve you well for up to 10 years or more without any issues.
The price may be a bit high for these desks. But the good thing is that it serves you for long enough to give you the best bang for your buck.
Some people who trash standing desks claim that they have no impact on your health. This mainly comes from those who use this desk with the hope of gaining some muscles and losing weight.
If this is your goal, these desks won’t be of much help. Instead, you may want to involve your body in a workout regime and watch your diet.
A standing desk isn’t exercise/fitness equipment. Rather, it’s a well-being tool that helps you combat sedentary habits. It gives you the freedom to move between sit and stand positions.
And in so doing, it prevents you from staying in the same position for too long that you start experiencing pain, aches, and fatigue. Not to forget, a drop in your productivity.
Despite all these myths and misconceptions surrounding the standing workstation and being labeled a fad, its popularity is still on the upward trend. The demand for the best standing desks has been consistently high, especially since the pandemic struck.
Most workplaces in the US that value the health of their employees are even introducing this office furniture in their workplaces.
Now you know why standing desks have become the new trend in recent years. With more people getting enlightened about the dangers of sitting for hours, they’re running to standing desks to help them spend more time standing and stay active while working in their office.
These desks offer you many physical and mental health benefits, including burning calories, improved productivity, improved blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of obesity. This explains why the sales of these desks have been soaring recently.
While some people have dismissed the desks as a gimmick, the truth remains that they’re beneficial to anyone who wants to cut down on the number of hours they sit.
A stand-up desk will help you counter all those dangers of excessive sitting when correctly used.
And don’t forget that a standing desk lets you switch back to sitting when you don’t feel like standing while working.