For office workers around the world, the majority of their work is done sitting at a desk. Generally, 8 hours of the day, 5 days per week, is spent at a workstation staring at a computer screen, before going home and sitting themselves down in front of a television screen for the remaining hours of their day. This has often been considered the norm, but the possible damage being done to our bodies by sitting for long periods of time can be very significant.
Spending most of the day seated is very evidently bad for your health in many ways. Sitting for long periods can increase the risk of numerous health conditions including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as a higher risk of death by cancer and cardiovascular disease. Leading a sedentary lifestyle has also been linked to a reduction in energy levels compared to moving around or standing. However, there are more effective and efficient alternatives to the office chair now, and the rise in popularity of the standing desk may help solve this significant problem for office workers around the globe.
If you are wondering what a standing desk actually is, it is considerably taller than a standard office chair and is generally adjustable to your height. This allows the worker to stand comfortably while working, instead of the alternative of sitting down all day, and additionally offer other health benefits. Some standing desks are also an adjustable desk allowing you to also use it as a sitting desk.
Spending all day in the office, the occasional (or not so occasional) moment of daydreaming or procrastination has often seemed inevitable. However, many people who have moved to standing desks say they feel like their productivity levels have increased a lot since making the switch. Not only is this beneficial to their professional career, but a productive day benefits your mental health and eliminates some of that guilt created by all of idle and unfocussed moments throughout the day.
Improves Back Pain
Suffering with back pain, in particular lower back pain, is a common complaint from office workers sitting at their desks all day, with one study reporting 55% of office workers participating in their evaluation suffered from back pain in the previous four weeks. However, this number could be reduced by standing desks, as early studies have reported a vast improvement in back pain after only a few weeks of increased standing time.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Increased blood sugar levels can be extremely damaging to health, and more time spent at a standing as opposed to a sitting desk can help prevent this. According to studies, a person’s blood sugar levels return to normal at a faster pace when they spend more time standing; in particular, using a standing desk after eating lunch reduces blood sugar levels the most.
As human beings, we burn calories no matter what we do, but how many calories we burn varies depending on the activity. Standing burns 88 calories per hour, while sitting down for the same amount of time burns 80. This may not seem like a lot, but if you use a standing desk for 6 hours per day, that’s 54 calories burned, which adds up to around five and a half pounds per year; every little counts and noticeably it all adds up.
Everyone is guilty of slouching in chairs, which can be a major contributor to causing back pain. Choosing to stand doesn’t immediately fix this slouching problem, but it does make you more aware of your posture and encourage you to stand straight, improving back and neck problems and subsequently improving your health and general wellbeing.
Evidently, there is an increase in the number of muscles used by standing instead of sitting. Therefore, using this alternative desk can build up leg, ankle and foot muscles which in turn improves balance. Furthermore, with the correct posture standing can strengthen your core making you an all-round stronger person.
Thus, as evidenced above there are many health benefits of a standing desk which should not be immediately written off; while some of these changes might seem small at first, over time the standing desk could lead to a significant boost in your overall health and make you feel better in both your body and mind.
As well as getting a good desk, you should also consider getting a good monitor arm that allows you to adjust the height of your monitor. Getting the best monitor arm allows you to easily adjust your screen to your desired position.