Published On: Tue, Mar 6th, 2018

5 Health Benefits From Switching to a Standing Desk

Sitting all day at work has been proven to have very adverse effects on your health. In a recent study, 86% of Americans sit for their job, and that is having negative effects on both short and long term health.

While having a job that necessitates being at a desk might be unavoidable, sitting all day is not something you have to settle on. More and more, standing desks are becoming popular, allowing you to stand while you work. Here we consider the health benefits of utilizing a standing desk.

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photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay.com

Keeps the pounds off

Weight gain is a natural side effect of a sedentary lifestyle. Broken down to its simplest form, weight gain is a byproduct of calories in versus calories out. When you sit all day, it is much harder for your body to burn calories, because it isn’t moving.

While a standing desk is not a substitute for exercise, you actually do burn calories while you stand for several hours. One study found that people who stand rather than sit throughout the day burn over 1,000 additional calories over the course of a week.

This, in turn, lowers the risk of some of the more sedentary diseases. Which brings us to our next point.

Lower the risk of disease

A study in 1953 showed that bus conductors, who stood all day, had half the risk of heart disease than bus drivers, who sat all day. It’s no secret that sitting increases the risks of some major diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

There are more recent studies that show adverse effects from standing all day. These studies still supported the use of a standing desk, though, as the adverse effects came into play for those who stood all day long, without a break. Done best, a standing desk will allow you to both sit and stand throughout the day.  

In addition to helping with heart disease, standing throughout the day has been linked to lower blood sugar spikes and a reduction in type 2 diabetes.

Reduce your back pain

Ironically, sitting all day can lead to back pain. Studies show a reduction in back pain after just two weeks using a standing desk, and those effects can last as long as you continue to stand throughout the day.

Standing rather than sitting has several positive effects on your back. For starters, you will naturally have better posture while standing. If you are the type who slouches, or sits in awkward positions, this effect might be even more dramatic.

Standing also promotes better blood flow throughout the body, which helps keeps your back mobile.

Improve your energy levels

It isn’t uncommon to start exercising regularly, and start having an increase in energy levels throughout the day. The same can be said (to a lesser degree) when switching to a standing desk.

Workers who make the switch to a standing desk consistently report an increase in energy levels after the first few weeks. During those first few weeks, while you (and your body) are adjusting to standing for much longer, it isn’t uncommon to be a little bit more tired. But, stick with it and your body will reward you with more energy when you’re leaving work.

Pick up an anti fatigue mat and place it under your desk to help with the transition. An anti fatigue mat will lower the pressure and weight on your feet, and many actually help to stimulate blood flow through their ergonomic design.

Help you live longer

This is really the culmination of all of the benefits of reducing your sedentary lifestyle and increasing the amount of standing you do throughout the day. It is part of a greater need for Americans to eat healthier, exercise more, and sit less.

Switching to a standing desk is one of many small improvements you can make to help increase your health and thus, your life expectancy. You’ll be rewarded with more energy to do what you want when outside of work.

Author: Allen Michael

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