Do you sometimes work from your laptop computer or carry out some of your paperwork while standing? If you are not familiar with a standing desk or haven’t used one before, you may first of all want to know what is a standing desk. The standing desks, also known as stand up desks, are desks designed to allow you to stand while working comfortably.
Standing desks have gained popularity over the years, and this has seen their sales increasing and competing with that of conventional desks. The benefits of a standing desk have been studied and cited by many experts. The secret to this office desk’s appeal is how it enables office workers and other professionals to interchange between a sitting and standing position.
Are All Standing Desks Made Equal?
If you have been pondering on getting a standing desk, you might be asking yourself if all standing desks come equal and how a standing workstation can work for you. You are likely wondering if the price should be the primary determiner in purchasing a standing desk. Well, there are a number of considerations you can take into account.
When choosing a standing desk, you are obviously going to want a work desk with a durable, strong, and sturdy standing desk frame. The desk's versatility is also an important attribute to look out for, i.e., whether the desk has adjustable height capabilities or not. This determines how widely applicable the desk is for different people and setups. Here is a list of some of the things to look for when seeking to purchase the best electric standing desk.
- The height range of the desk.
- The desk dimensions
- Quality of materials and durability
- Noise levels during height adjustment
- The weight capacity
- Aesthetics and design of the desk
- The ease and the speed of the height adjustment
Like many things, there are standing desks pros and cons. Some of the desk’s limitations include potential strain to the knees, feet, hips, and other parts of the body. Likewise, standing is not a substitute for exercise. If the recommended posture and duration for standing is adopted, approximately 15 minutes per hour, you can find that the benefits of standing at work outweigh its drawbacks.
There has been a departure from production orientated economies to more service-driven economies. The advancement of the service industry and the increasing range of digital technologies and capabilities has opened up a whole new set of occupations, entrepreneurs, and pastimes. This has led to the creation of more desk-reliant professions. The introduction of sit-stand workstations to the office setup has offered a much welcome relief for office workers. There are undeniable standing desk advantages, and here is a rundown of the top nine.
1. Helps Your Back Pain
The length of time many professionals spend seated at their desks is well documented, with the average office worker spending around six hours of their time at work on their desk. Research has raised the alarm on numerous direct and indirect health consequences of prolonged sitting. Prolonged sitting exerts pressure on the lower back resulting in back strain. If left unchecked, chronic back pain can develop from repetitive back stress. Poor sitting posture and ergonomic support also exacerbate the strain to the lower back.
Standing desks create more ergonomically designed workstations. One of the significant benefits of a standing desk is that it interrupts the repetitive daily cycle and resultant stress and strain that the sitting position places on the lower back, shoulders, and neck. Standing can improve back pain and reduce the risks of developing lower back pain in the first place when combined with sitting. This is because standing takes the pressure off the neck and lower back, although it might not necessarily eradicate lower back pain entirely.
One caveat on standing at a standing desk is to ensure the correct standing posture, placement of your computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, proper shoes, and height adjustment.
2. Lowers the Risk of Weight Gain & Obesity
Several factors lead to a person gaining an unhealthy amount of weight and becoming overweight or obese. Diet, genetics, inactivity, and a lack of exercise are some of the contributing factors.
The benefits of standing at work are seen in the increased metabolism and burning of calories that come from having a standing desk workstation. Coupled with the right sitting and standing routine, e.g., standing for a minimum of 15 minutes every hour, can lead to experiencing the health benefits from a standing desk. Recent studies are pointing to a minimum of 30 minutes per hour to attain the health benefits.
Sitting for long periods of time is associated with a more sedentary life. Reducing inactivity consistently throughout the day can reduce the risk of putting on an excessive amount of weight. You can the standup desk benefit its users through better weight control.
3. Lower Blood Sugar Level
Reduced blood sugar levels are another standup desk benefit. Professionals who rely heavily on sitting at their desks to get their work done cannot necessarily take time off their workstation for an extended time at will. A standing desk workstation provides a great alternative to sitting while remaining productive.
Research supports the fact that standing helps to normalize blood sugar levels more quickly after eating than sitting. On the contrary, extended sitting after meals and inactivity has been associated with a significantly higher risk of developing type two diabetes.
According to PubMed Central, office workers who stood for three hours after lunch experienced a notable reduction of 43% in their blood sugar spike compared to workers seated. It has been noted that the seemingly simple action of interchanging between sitting and standing throughout the day showed a decline in the blood sugar spikes.
In general, one of the standing desk advantages is that it promotes a more active lifestyle throughout the day, decreasing your blood sugar levels. Taking the time to alternate from your sitting to standing workstation is a way to stay healthy while at work.
4. Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
Whether you are working from your company office or remotely at home, the benefits of a standing desk, especially when it comes to health, are noteworthy. Experts have alluded to the link between extended hours of sitting at a desk and cardiovascular disease.
Standing offers increased muscle activity and therefore increased blood circulation throughout the body. Increased blood flows mean a healthier functioning of the body, which lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure, blood clots, and heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, strokes, and heart attack.
Continuing to sit at a desk after six hours has already lapsed, can start to affect the proper functioning of the vascular system. The office standing desk is part of the arsenal that can improve remote and office workers' general health, especially if they push longer hours of work sitting.
5. More Calories Burned
As already highlighted, individuals who work in occupations that promote a more sedentary lifestyle tend to be less active, mostly during the most productive hours of their day, i.e., morning to late afternoon. Reduced activity results in a reduced metabolic rate meaning you can burn fewer calories when you spend most of the day sitting at work. Over time, an overall inactive lifestyle can lead to an unhealthy weight gain.
Another reason to use a standing desk is that standing burns 20% more calories than sitting. Sit-stand workstations promote a more active 8-to-5 if users stand for a total of over 15 minutes in one given workday. Although the increased energy demand from standing is modest and cannot compensate for exercise, it promotes the increased burning of calories compared to sitting while still enabling workers to get work done. There are other added standing workstation benefits in addition to the burning of calories that make standing desks an attractive choice for any work or home office setting.
6. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Imagine a day when you have a tight schedule with a project that needs to be completed by the end of the day. You had a late night and are feeling tired and sore. You grab a coffee to give you a fresh dose of caffeine to keep you alert and awake for the day ahead. You spend the rest of the day downing on coffee to keep you pumped for the day. Having to continually rely on caffeine as a stimulant to keep your heart rates up can have health consequences in the long term.
The benefits of a standing desk are that it can offer a healthier stimulus to keep you alert and energized throughout the day without the added side effects associated with higher levels of caffeine intake. Shifting from one workstation mode to the next keeps you moving and awake so you can maintain a higher level of work efficiency throughout the day and then, boost your productivity.
7. Improves Mood and Energy
The work culture of having to sit at a desk for hours on end, five days of the week, can take its toll on an individual’s mental and emotional health. Having to stick to one repetitive sitting position can lead to stress, feeling the blues, and even progress to depression. Having the option of different sit-stand work arrangements can significantly change a person’s mood and energy levels.
An office worker’s mood and personal outlook can also be boosted by the numerous health benefits they experience once they start implementing the sit and stand work stints. The standing workstation benefits include providing relief to the body, particularly the neck, back, and shoulders. Furthermore, the metabolic benefits of standing also translate to a more positive and happier office worker.
The benefits of standing at work can extend to improving social and work relations. When a person's mood is high, and they feel motivated, they are likely to respond to challenges and those around them positively.
8. Boost Productivity
Work productivity is related to how efficiently and effectively we carry out our work tasks and targets. The higher our productivity, the more work output we can produce in a given space of time. Reduced focus, distractions, ill-health, and fatigue are impediments to higher productivity levels at work. Introducing a sit-stand workstation at home or at work can set off a cascade of effects related to better health, overall wellbeing, and motivation that can boost productivity. Even though there are standing desks pros and cons, these office desks have a positive effect on productivity levels.
There’s nothing like a change of routine or scenery to dust off the cobwebs from a repetitive daily routine. A change of view and posture is refreshing and motivating. An inviting, trendy, and minimalistic work or home office standing desk like SmartDesk 2 can boost work morale and increased productivity.
Increased Energy Levels
Staying active at work via bouts of sitting and standing increases blood and oxygen circulation, helping ward off fatigue and lethargy. Increased mental alertness and energy levels are reasons why to use a standing desk. Increased energy levels lead to more productivity.
Standing desks reduce the pains and aches associated with sitting. The better your physical wellbeing and the more comfortable while working, the more focused you are at work. Ill-health can greatly affect work performance and lead to increased time off work for medical attention and recovery.
9. May Help You Live Longer
The cumulative physical health benefits and reduced risk of developing chronic disease lead to a general improvement in wellbeing, which in turn contributes to living a longer life. If the place you spend the most significant part of your day is at work, creating the best working environment where you can thrive as office workers’ is a win-win for all.
Standup workstations have been widely adopted in many work and home office setups because of the numerous benefits of the standing desk. Learning how to correctly set up and utilize a standup desk workstation can improve your overall wellbeing and enable you to maximize your use of the standing desk.
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