Leading a sedentary lifestyle is closely linked to poor health outcomes. The rate of obesity and heart disease are increasing across the western world and it’s thought that the modern-day lifestyle is partly to blame.
Thanks to the development of televisions, computers, and phones, many of us find ourselves sitting at home in our spare time. Gone are the days when we would occupy ourselves by heading outside to the park or shopping mall.
Then there’s also the rise in office-based work. A large portion of the population now works a 9 to 5 where they sit at a desk for several hours of the day.
The Problems With Sitting Down
Sitting down for several hours can have a number of negative effects on the body. It limits the number of calories that you’re burning, which can make it harder for you to maintain your weight or lose weight if this is your goal.
Research indicates that those who sit down for long periods of time are more at risk of developing a wide range of health conditions, particularly obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol).
Sitting too much can also cause your muscles to become tight and stiff. It can cause misalignment in your body which can lead to poor posture.
So, what’s the solution? How can we reduce the amount of time we spend sitting down while still being able to work effectively?
The solution is standing desks!
What is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk, also known as a sit-stand desk or an adjustable desk, is a type of desk that enables you to stand up comfortably while working on a computer or laptop. They have grown in popularity over recent years as more people are searching for new ways to stay active throughout the day.
You can adjust standing desks to different heights so that you can work in a standing or seated position. Most modern sit-stand desks are fitted with an electronic motor that enables you to adjust the height with the click of a single button. You can also get manual options.
Benefits of Standing Desks
When you have a sit-stand desk, you can stay active throughout the day by spending some time standing up as you work on your computer or laptop. Let’s take a closer look at the different benefits of standing desks.
Nowadays, we’re all looking for ways to boost our productivity and get more done in a shorter amount of time, and standing desks are one of the best ways to do so.
Research has shown that sit-stand desks improve your productivity. One study by the British Medical Journal showed that staff who switched a traditional office desk for a sit-stand desk experienced increased engagement and productivity in the workplace.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be standing up all day to be productive at work. Using an adjustable standing desk, you can spend half of your work day sitting and the other half standing.
Easier Weight Management or Weight Loss
Because you burn more calories when you’re standing compared to when you’re sitting down, using a sit-stand desk can make it easier for you to maintain your current weight or lose weight.
Standing up has been shown to burn 30 to 70 extra calories per hour than sitting down. Alongside cooking at home and eating a healthy diet, you can reduce your body fat and improve your overall health.
Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than you are burning. The more calories you can burn throughout your day, the more you will be able to eat without gaining weight. You can tackle potential weight gain by standing up and getting more movement into your work day.
Improved Muscle Strength and Flexibility
Standing up forces you to engage a range of muscles, including your lower body and core muscles. To keep you upright as you’re standing, you need to activate your abdominal muscles and keep your glute muscles tight.
By standing up more, you can promote muscle flexibility and joint mobility, and over time, it can encourage positive movement patterns that will further enhance your total body strength.
Because standing up encourages you to engage several muscle groups, including your core muscles, it can promote better posture. Using a sit-stand desk can encourage you to stand tall and complete your work in a healthier position, which can contribute to improved posture in the long-term.
When you stand with better posture, muscle tone increases and muscle stiffness decreases. If you normally experience neck and upper back pain when you’re sitting at a desk all day, you will find that this disappears when you switch to using a standing desk.
Proper posture involves keeping your neck and spine neutral, your shoulders, hips, and knees even, and your arms weight evenly distributed between both sides of your body.
Improved Energy Levels and Collaboration
Sitting down all day can cause you to feel fatigued and lethargic. You can find yourself coming home from work feeling drained and ready for bed.
By switching your traditional desk to a standing desk, you can keep your muscles working and your body engaged in activity. This can lead to an increase in energy and better mood, and it can encourage you to collaborate more with your team members in the workplace.
Lower Risk of Disease
The more you sit down, the less you are moving your body. This increases your risk of weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
Studies show that those who sit down more than others have a 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes.
When you incorporate more movement into your day by standing up more while you’re working, you can fight against the development of these diseases and significantly lower your risk of poor health in the future.