Up to 54 percent of Americans with back pain got it due to extended sitting hours.
If you spend most of your working hours sitting at your desk, you put your health at risk. It increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, among others. Fortunately, people are becoming aware of the benefits of a standing desk.
Read on to learn more!
What’s a Standing Desk?
A standing desk is designed to let you work from a standing position. It helps reduce the number of hours you spend sitting. The good thing with standing desks is that they’re adjustable.
You can change their height to match yours, to let you work from a comfortable position. Research on the benefits of a standing desk is still underway. All the same, there’s no denying that they’re much better than conventional office desks.
At the very least, they can reduce the adverse effects of sitting behind your desk for too long.
Some people also argue that using a standing desk takes more effort to remain standing. It also helps burn calories, which when you add up add to something significant. Here are the benefits of a standing desk in more detail.
1. Helps in Burning Calories and Weight Loss
A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health established that people burn calories in many ways. This includes while watching TV, walking, standing, or doing computer work. The difference in the number of calories burned depends on whether the activities are done standing or sitting.
The study found that the subjects burned 80 calories every hour while sitting. When standing, the number increased to 88 calories per hour. Walking helped them burn 210 calories per hour.
From the study, it’s evident that you can burn more calories when standing. As such, standing at your desk is associated with weight loss.
Besides, other studies have shown that after a meal, the blood sugar levels return to normal faster while standing.
2. Standing at Your Desk May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels increase after a meal, and the situation also gets worse if you remain sedentary. The condition is even worse for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
In another study, it was established that standing for three hours after a meal reduces the spike of blood sugar. Another study showed that alternating between standing and sitting reduced sugar spikes by 11%. The findings explain why a sedentary lifestyle is linked to 112% higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Standing Lowers Long-Term Mortality Risk
Standing reduces the chances of contracting obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. There’s a correlation between the hours one spends sitting and the chance of reduced life span. With the increased risk of contracting life-threatening diseases, the quality of life is also affected.
According to the studies done, the more the person spends their time sitting, the higher their chances of dying sooner. The studies were done in control of other factors like exercise and diet. The indicators showed that a variety of health problems arise from spending too much time sitting.
Experts recommend alternating between standing and sitting. Prolonged standing can lead to knee, back, or foot problems. You can accomplish alternating by using a desk that you can raise upwards. You may also use a tall chair that you can pull to your desk to sit.
4. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Increased periods of sitting can increase the risk of various forms of cancer. Among the common ones are breast and colon cancer. Prolonged sitting is responsible for close to 49,000 cases of breast cancer and an additional 43,000 cases of colon cancer.
Other significant amounts of cancer are lung, prostate, endometrial, and ovarian, all related to excessive sitting. The risk of getting cancer is linked to increased levels of biomarkers like C-reactive protein.
5. Improves Mood and Energy Levels
Some of the other benefits of a bamboo standing desk is improving your mood and boosting your energy levels. The participants in some of the studies above reported less fatigue and stress than those who remained seated.
Besides, they also reported an increase in their vigor and energy levels throughout the day. The studies can be linked to others that show that increased sedentary time increases the risk of anxiety and depression.
If you’re transitioning into using standing desks, it’s essential that you ease into it. Start by standing for just a few hours as your body becomes accustomed to the strain. Move around a bit, shift your leg position, and wear comfortable shoes.
Don’t forget that standing behind your desk is just like any other intervention. It’ll come with some side effects that you need to prepare for. For example, moving from the sitting to the standing position will come with the risk of developing back, foot, and leg pain.
Set a timer to remind you when to change from one position to the other. This will interrupt your working schedule or concentration. You can experiment with various time intervals to see the one that works best for you.
While at it, differentiate between tasks that are best performed while seated and those you can do while standing. Skills that require fine motor skills may better be performed from a position of sitting.
There are lots of dramatic changes happening in the work environment. They include open floor plans and exercise balls, not forgetting the standing desks. There are advantages for each of these changes, not forgetting the benefits of a standing desk.
Sitting for long hours is a link to many dangerous health conditions. It has been liked to increased chances of getting diabetes. People with resistance to insulin are especially prone to type 2 of diabetes.
Cancer, heart disease, shoulder, and back joints are also effects of long hours of sitting. Alternating between sitting and standing can help curb most of these effects. It helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels, especially after a meal.
Standing also boosts your energy levels and increases concentration. As you transition from your sitting to standing desk, do it in moderation. Remember you don’t want to create problems for your back, feet, or legs.