No need to worry, you’re not on trial here. However, for many businesses who are considering the merits of giving their employees height adjustable standing desks to replace their conventional ones, the jury is still out. Allow us to make a case for standing desks and let’s take a look at the many health benefits they can bring to the table.
Before we dive into the advantages, let’s take a quick look at what an adjustable stand-up desk actually is.
Adjustable standing desks allow their users to essentially make the transition between sitting and standing while they’re at their computer or doing any other task. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, these desks will be moved manually between these different heights, whereas with more premium quality standing desks, such as the SmartDesk 2 from Autonomous, they are motorized. The SmartDesk 2 has a keypad and a dual-motor system integrated into its frame, so users can simply press a button to raise or lower the desk, or choose from four different height presets that they have saved previously.
As with many pieces of furniture, price is almost always a factor in the features that you’ll receive, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend thousands to get what you need. The SmartDesk 2’s affordable price point goes with the generous worktop space, a high quality, rust-free steel motorized frame and the fact that it can handle up to 300 pounds of equipment and still work comfortably.
The Risks of Prolonged Sitting
There are many valid reasons why people should move over to a height-adjustable standing desk and the health-damaging consequences of prolonged sitting is at the very top of that list.
For starters, the average person spends more than half of their day sitting down; this may be in the form of commuting, it could be for work or simply because the way they relax involves sitting too. The issue here is that prolonged sitting can have serious consequences on our health and as a race, we are frankly doing way too much of it.
As per a report published in Annals of Internal Medicine, there has been a whole heap of studies done that show that people with particularly sedentary lifestyles run a far higher risk of various diseases than those who are active. The results taken from 47 studies that were looking at the health ramifications of these sedentary lifestyles are certainly an eye-opener. The fact is people who typically sit for prolonged periods of time have a much higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes, various forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and even dementia.
The Harvard Health Blog has also strongly supported the idea that standing rather than sitting is wholly beneficial. Standing burns 30% more calories than sitting and as a result, can lower one’s blood sugar and cholesterol, which will vastly reduce the risk of weight gain and in turn, the risk of heart disease. The article goes on to suggest substituting two hours of sitting per day withstanding, as the studies it cites have shown the link between this notion and a reduction in blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Burning Calories and Staying Active
So how exactly does standing at an adjustable desk help with the fight against obesity and the diseases mentioned?
The answer lies in a report published by the BBC, detailing the results of their collaborative study with the University of Chester back in 2013. The purpose of the study was to test the theory that standing was indeed more beneficial for our health than sitting and recording the effects seen by the participants. The volunteers were equipped with movement monitors, known as accelerometers, and wore heart rate and glucose monitors 24/7, so the necessary measurements could be taken.
The difference they found between sitting and standing was rather shocking. It all lies in the slightly increased work that the heart does while standing, as it beats on average about 10 times more per minute than it does while you’re sitting. The increased heart rate comes from the extra muscle movement that standing requires and it has one very important effect - it encourages our bodies to break down food into glucose more effectively, thus we burn more calories.
In terms of figures, it works out at 50 additional calories burnt per hour, which may not seem like a lot on its own, but when you start applying that number to longer periods, it works out at 750 calories per five-day workweek, or a whopping 30,000 calories per year. Picture 8 pounds of fat in front of you right now. It’s that much.
It goes without saying that you should never take your health for granted. If you stand up for your health starting today, you’ll feel the benefits now and for years to come. There are many compelling reasons outlined here why getting yourself an adjustable standing desk is a great and healthy choice. Autonomous has a range of top quality desks that tick this box and suit a range of needs and tastes - you can check them out here.
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