Something well known to everyone is that a physically active lifestyle is essential to everyone’s well-being as it can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, people who sit for extended periods at their desk job often have a sedentary behavior detrimental to their health. Many studies show that this behavior is associated with multiple health risks, such as heart disease and diabetes.
For that reason and others, alternatives to typical desks such as standing desks have become more prevalent in many workplaces and home offices. The ergonomic health benefits of a standing desk are countless compared to simply continuing to work while sitting at your desk-bound job. If you’ve ever suffered from back pain while working or worry about your health, then you should consider getting a standing desk.
What Is a Standing Desk?
Standing desks, which are also referred to as height-adjustable desks, sit-stand desks, or stand-up desks, is essentially a desk that lets you draw, write, and work while standing up or using a high stool. There are several different types, which allows you to get the one that fits your office and budget the best. The mental health benefit of the standing desk and the physical ones are just some of the advantages that this desk provides over your regular office desks.
Types of Standing Desks
Regardless of the type, every standing desk follows one main goal: to let you work while you stand. Most of these desks can improve your ergonomic workspace along with your health and well-being. However, the most basic type of them, a fixed-height standing desk, does not.
The limited functionality of static height standing desks takes away an essential feature that they should have: adjustability. Any health benefit of a standing desk tends to show only when you continuously switch between sitting and standing positions throughout your workday. Regardless, It’s a simple and affordable option, but it would be best to have a backup workspace where you can sit, allowing you to switch at will.
Height-adjustable standing desks come in two types: manual and electric ones. Manually adjustable desks let you change their height whenever you like, but it takes some time and effort to do so.
They are cheaper than electric-powered desks and have fewer meddling pieces overall. There isn’t any variance between the physical health benefit of this standing desk type compared to the electric kind, besides the effort of cranking your desk up and down.
Electric height-adjustable standing desks are the best and most comfortable option out of every type. When people refer to ergonomic standing desks, they are typically referring to this type of desk. Most of these desks allow you to change the height with the push of a button swiftly and quietly. It makes it easy to keep a dynamic posture by changing between sitting and standing positions regularly.
If you have a corner office, you may be interested to know that many standing desks have L-shaped models, whether they’re manual, fixed, or electric, that can adequately fit your workspace. Purchasing the best standing desk you can afford is a worthwhile long-term investment, but if you can’t cover the cost at the moment, a desk riser is more affordable and can be just as helpful.
How Standing Desks Help Your Mental and Physical Health
Is standing desks good for health? Working for long hours while sitting puts people’s health at risk due to the sedentary life it enforces. As an office worker, you may not have a choice in the matter while you’re at work, but you may even spend your evening at home sitting as well.
When you begin fixing that sedentary habit by investing in a standing desk, you considerably reduce some of the risks associated with it, such as obesity, weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes. The mental health benefit of a standing desk is also plentiful, as it considerably improves your work satisfaction.
If that still doesn’t convince you that a standing desk is worth it, you only need to look a little bit further to be wholly convinced. Here are nine true health benefits of a standing desk:
Reduces the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Nearly everybody knows that you gain weight by consuming more calories than you can burn. Contrarily, you can also lose weight whenever you burn more calories than you consume. If you work while standing instead of sitting, you can reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity by burning some extra calories each hour you work.
Those calories you burn can pile up over time, and if you were to do so over an entire year, the amount of burnt calories becomes quite notable. If you want to enhance this physical benefit of the standing desk, you can incorporate some standing desk exercises while working. For example, if you march in place, you can burn up to 225 calories per hour while stimulating your brain activity, making you more productive and energetic.
May Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Lowering your blood sugar levels is another health benefit of a standing desk. Whenever you have a meal, your blood sugar can increase quite a bit. The more it does, the worse it can be for your health. People that have insulin resistance or diabetes are even more at risk.
Fortunately, a standing-based office work study showed that you could significantly reduce the sugar spike after lunch by 43% by standing for three hours after the meal. This is in comparison to people who were sitting for the same amount of time. Switching between sitting and standing throughout the workday on a 30-minute interval after lunch break also reduces the blood sugar spike by 11% on average.
There may even be a link between these effects and how excessive sedentary time links to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. If you want to be on the safe side, get a standing desk and implement a sit-stand routine, especially after meals.
May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
The notion that standing is better than sitting is something that’s been studied for a long time now. In particular, a study in 1953 found that bus conductors who sit throughout the day had twice the chance of dying from heart diseases than coworkers who had been standing during the whole day.
Since then, it has been a matter of constant study, but now there is a greater understanding of the matter. Frequently sitting for an extended time can significantly increase the risk of heart disease. If you spend your entire day sitting, even an hour of intense exercise may not compensate for the negative effect it has.
There isn’t any doubt that spending more time standing is beneficial for you. The physical benefit of a standing desk, in this case, is tremendous.
Another great physical benefit of a standing desk is that it improves your circulation, which can lead to other health benefits. Choosing to stand at your desk lets you have a better blood flow compared to when you’re sitting. Whenever you work in an upright position, your circulation to your extremities significantly improves.
Sitting, on the other hand, can slow it down or impede it. It can lead to several health problems like blood clots, varicose veins, swollen ankles, and more. Remember to stand, stretch, and do a slight jog in place every hour if you want to enjoy the health benefits of a standing desk thoroughly.
Reduces Neck and Back Pain
If you have a desk-bound job, the chances are that you’ve experienced some degree of back pain. When you sit for prolonged times, you apply pressure on your lower back, straining yourself and possibly developing a worse condition if left unchecked.
You can also get neck pains If your monitor display isn’t in the proper position, as it may cause you to tilt your head to see it correctly. If you have a poor sitting posture and don’t have enough ergonomic support, you may aggravate the strain to both your neck and lower back.
This physical benefit of a standing desk primarily comes from its ergonomic design. It helps to prevent neck and back pain. It helps you by making a change in your usually repetitive daily work cycle. When you promote a dynamic posture by standing up for a while every now and then, you can mitigate the strain you endure on your back, neck, and shoulders from sitting for extended periods.
It may not immediately eliminate your back pains, but if you make sure to have the correct posture while standing and sitting, it’s only a matter of time.
Improves Mood and Increases Energy
It’s nearly impossible to get through a week unscathed when you’re sitting and working grueling hours from beginning to end. When you remain in that repetitive sedentary position, you subject your body to stress, become more fatigued, and you may even start to feel unmotivated. It might surprise you how much investing in a standing desk and changing your work posture can affect your mood, overall energy, and well-being.
The mental health benefit of a standing desk, along with the physical advantages, become numerous when you begin a regular sit-stand session schedule. It provides significant relief to your body, helps you prevent fatigue, and reduces the psychological distress you feel on those tough days. The reason is that by standing, you can release some of the tension piling up in your body, boosting your mood and energy and improving your productivity.
Some people have concerns about how standing desks may slow them down during their jobs, whether they’re typing, writing, or anything related. Luckily, they don’t have any impact on your typical daily tasks. You only need to get used to working with a standing desk.
While the desk itself doesn’t directly affect productivity, it can improve your mood, energy, and well-being, indirectly influencing it. If you are in a good mood and don’t feel back, neck, or shoulder pains, focusing on your task at hand becomes considerably easier. These health benefits of a standing desk let you perform your job more efficiently, which makes you have a more productive workday.
Sitting puts plenty of stress on your spine, even more so if you don’t have a proper posture. Standing can provide some relief to your spine, reducing strain and slightly improving your posture. However, you can’t immediately put the standing desk’s benefits to use.
If you want to enjoy every physical benefit of a standing desk and make your good posture, putting some effort into knowing how to use a sit-stand desk properly is the key. Figuring out a good sitting and standing schedule should be the first thing you do. Standing for a long time Is a quick way to burn yourself out, worsen your posture, and harm yourself after some time.
Initially, you’re looking to incorporate standing into your routine with short periods. Raising your desk for 10 minutes after spending 50 minutes sitting is an excellent start. It gets you moving twice an hour and allows you to enjoy the desk’s benefits. Then, once you start getting accustomed to the desk, you can start changing the ratio.
The schedule varies from person to person. Some people can get adjusted quickly to the desk, while others need to spend more time on it. You may be able to focus more if you work while sitting, while for other people, it may be the exact opposite. Find out your preferences and make a plan that fits you adequately and lets you enjoy every physical benefit of a standing desk.
It May Help You Live Longer
The overall physical and mental health benefits of a standing desk lead to a higher life expectancy. When you shorten your sitting time and tackle the problem of a sedentary lifestyle, you are decreasing your risk of suffering from health issues and improving your well-being, which in turn helps you live longer.
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