Work While Standing
It is now scientific fact that too much sitting is bad for your health. Human beings are not “designed” to sit for long periods of time. Unfortunately, technology has led to a situation where people are sitting through their workday and then going home to sit some more while watching television or playing an electronic game. Do you fit into this common profile? If so, you have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and decreased life-span potential.
Additionally, sitting around is hampering your ability to burn calories. Studies have linked long periods of sitting to weight gain and obesity.
If you are an office worker and are seated most of the day then you have a problem that puts you at risk.
And there is more to this than your own health concerns.
- Studies in call-centers have found that those who handle calls while standing close twice as many sales as those who are seated most of the day.
- This has not gone unnoticed in the world of business and now many companies are outfitting their work areas with desks that can be quickly raised for standing work or dropped for seated work.
What the heck is a standing desk?
- A standing desk, sometimes referred to as stand-up desk, allows you to stand up comfortably while working
- Modern versions of the standing desk, sometimes referred to as height-adjustable desks, are adjustable to that the height can be quickly changed so that you can alternate between standing and sitting.
- As noted earlier, businesses have taken notice that the height-adjustable desks have both health benefits and productivity benefits.
Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
- Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than you can burn. Conversely, weight loss occurs when you take in fewer calories than you are burning.
- Standing for half of your workday has been shown to burn an additional 170 calories per workday. That can add up to about 1,000 additional calories burned per week.
Using a Standing Desk Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- The more your blood sugar levels increase after meals, the worse it is for your health and this is especially true for those with type 2 diabetes.
- A recent study of 10 office workers showed that standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43%.
- Another study showed that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by an average of 11%.
- The harmful effects of sitting after meals may explain why excessive sitting is linked to a 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
- These studies show that using a standing desk at work can lower blood sugar levels, especially after lunch.
Standing Reduces Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease
- The idea that standing is better for heart health was first proposed way back in 1953.
- A study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as the seated bus driver.
- Today science has a better understanding of the adverse effects of prolonged sitting. Studies suggest that standing on the job when compared to prolonged sitting may decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
- How harmful is sitting all day? Even an hour of intense exercise may not make of for the negative effects of a day spent seated at a desk.
- There should be no doubt in your mind that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.
Does Your Back Hurt? Try Standing
- Back pain is the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day.Several studies were completed on employees who suffered long-term back pain.
- 32% of the participants reported improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using a standing desk.
- A CDC study found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks.
Removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a 2-week period.
Feeling Moody and Fatigued?
- Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being.
- In one 7-week study, participants used standing desks and reported less stress and more energy throughout the workday.
Upon returning to their old desks, all of the gains were erased.
- These findings align with broader research on sitting and mental health linking sedentary time with an increased risk of both depression and anxiety.
- A common concern about standing desks is that they hinder daily tasks, such as typing.
- While standing each afternoon may take some getting used to, standing desks appear to have no significant impact on typical work tasks.
- In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for 4 hours each day had no impact on characters typed per minute or typing errors.
- Considering that standing improves mood and energy as well, using a standing desk is more likely to boost productivity rather than hinder it.
Standing Up For Longer Life
- Studies have linked increased sitting time and early death.
- Again, there is a strong association that prolonged sitting increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This two conditions can appreciably reduce longevity.
- In fact, a review of 18 studies found those who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.
- Another study suggested that reducing sitting time to 3 hours per day can raise the average American’s life expectancy by 2 years.
- Avoiding the problems that can arise from prolonged sitting may help lengthen our lifespan.
It’s Time to Take a Stand
This is why sitting less and standing more is such an important lifestyle change.
Most office supply companies who sell office furniture will have sit-stand desks.
If you decide to switch to a sit-stand desk you should start out splitting your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.