There are so many stand up desk benefits that go beyond just the aesthetics and the fact that they’re trendy at the moment. Let’s talk about whether a standing desk is right for you and what to consider.
Consider this – are you tired of sitting for long periods of time during your workday? Feeling like you need to move a bit more?? If so, a standing desk might be the perfect solution to boost your mood and energy levels.
This modern workstation is designed with height adjustment features that can greatly improve your posture and reduce discomfort.
Sitting for extended periods can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. On the other hand, standing up burns more calories, helps lower blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of weight gain. These are just a few of the many health benefits that a stand-up desk can offer.
But the benefits of standing don’t stop at physical health. People who use sit-stand desks have reported less stress and fatigue compared to their sitting counterparts.
They also noted an improvement in mood, which is a significant factor in increasing productivity and combating workplace depression and anxiety. Shoot this is part of why I take afternoon walks! Improves my mood and then I’ll get more done!
If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of stand-up desks, then this article is exactly what you need. I’ve been using one for the past four years and can speak from experience as to their benefits. I’ll also refer to research throughout this article.
What is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk, also known as a sit-stand desk or height-adjustable desk, is a specially designed workstation that allows you to either sit or stand while working.
The desk’s height can be adjusted according to your comfort, promoting proper ergonomics and reducing discomfort associated with sitting for long periods of time.
These desks come in different designs, from manual to electric height adjustment mechanisms, and even treadmill desks for those who want to incorporate more movement into their workday.
- Electric options are more expensive, but can be nice when you’ve got multiple computer screens
- Manual options with a level are often a bit heavier
- DIY options absolutely work, but can be harder to get a height that’s ergonomically best
The key components of a standing desk are similar to a traditional desk, including a surface for your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
But the benefit of standing desks is the flexibility they offer in changing your posture throughout the day. This simple change from sitting to standing up can bring multiple health benefits, making it a popular choice in modern workplaces.
If you want a serious boost, then checkout these under desk walking treadmills!!
How Standing Desks Help Your Mental And Physical Health
Standing desks have gained popularity in workplaces and home offices around the world. Their benefits are not limited to just improving your posture. They can also boost your mental and physical health in several ways.
You’ll notice that many of the benefits come from reducing the amount of time we spend sitting at our desks – that is one of the top reasons for health problems we face today.
Sitting is the new smoking — “Even if you get up at five and do your P90X—if you sit six hours a day, those benefits are negated.” – Michael Perko
So let’s look at some of the top stand up desk benefits and hopefully you’ll consider it’s worth it:
1. Reduces the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain and obesity. Spending long periods of time sitting at your workstation can lead to an increased risk of these health issues. The good news is that standing desks can help you combat this risk.
When you stand up, your body burns calories. This means that simply choosing to stand at your desk for part of your workday can help you burn more calories than sitting.
Participants in studies have shown that using a standing desk for just three hours burns an extra 170 calories. That’s a significant boost to your daily calorie burn!
Height-adjusting desks also encourage movement, as people tend to often adjust their standing desk’s height throughout the day. This minor activity can help boost your metabolism, reducing the risk of weight gain and obesity.
2. May Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Another issue with living a sedentary lifestyle is that it can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This is a health condition characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
Sitting for long periods of time, especially after meals, can cause a blood sugar spike, increasing the risk of diabetes.
In contrast, standing up at a standing desk during your workday can help lower blood sugar levels.
In a study involving office workers, participants who used sit-stand desks reduced their sitting time and showed a significant decrease in blood sugar spikes compared to when they remained seated all day.
According to the study, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced their blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time.
3. May Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Standing up for a significant portion of your workday can have a positive impact on your heart health.
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In fact, studies show that it’s so harmful that prolonged sedentary time can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
By using a standing desk, you can reduce your sitting time and encourage more movement throughout the day.
Height-adjusting and sit-stand desks are perfect for those who want to blend sitting and standing periods. These desks allow easy height adjustment, so you can switch between sitting and standing without causing discomfort or strain to the upper back or neck.
4. Improves Circulation
Standing up during your workday can greatly improve your circulation.
When you sit for long periods of time, your blood flow can become restricted, leading to discomfort and an increased risk of developing health problems such as swollen ankles, blood clots, peripheral neuropathy, and varicose veins.
On the other hand, using a standing desk encourages movement and helps to boost circulation throughout your body.
5. Reduces Neck and Back Pain
One of the most significant benefits of standing desks is the potential to alleviate discomfort associated with neck and back pain.
Sitting for long periods of time during the workday can lead to strain in your upper back, lower back, and neck. This discomfort is often a result of poor posture and the awkward positions we sometimes adopt to view our monitor or reach for the keyboard and mouse.
Standing desks offer a solution to this problem. By standing up and adjusting the desk’s height to maintain proper ergonomics, you can significantly reduce the strain on the back and neck.
Quick tip – your monitor should be at eye level and your keyboard and mouse at a height that allows your elbows to be at a 90-degree angle.
It’s also worth noting that switching between sitting and standing throughout the day, using sit-stand desks, can further help to alleviate back and neck pain. This practice breaks up the bouts of sitting time, allowing your body to move and stretch.
Several studies have been conducted to study the effect of stand up desks on long-term back pain. One study showed a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using a height-adjustable desk.
Another study by the CDC showed that using a sit-stand desk for just 4 weeks reduced upper back pain and neck pain by 54%.
6. Improves Mood And Increases Energy
Standing up during your workday can have a significant impact on your overall mood and energy levels. People who use sit-stand desks have reported less stress and fatigue than their sitting counterparts. Standing desks can also help to combat symptoms of depression and anxiety, as standing up can boost your mood and energy levels.
In addition to the mood-boosting benefits of standing, height-adjustable desks can also help to increase your energy.
By standing up, you’re encouraging better blood flow and circulation throughout your body, which can help to keep you alert and focused during long periods of time. This is a great way to combat the afternoon slump that many of us experience.
Studies show that participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire workday. Plus, they also reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day.
7. Raises Productivity
Standing up during your workday can significantly boost your productivity. How does this happen? When you use a standing desk, you’re actively engaging your body and mind, which can lead to better focus and concentration.
A study involving call center employees showed that participants who used sit-stand desks were 45% more productive daily than their sitting counterparts.
While it may take some getting used to, you’ll definitely improve your overall productivity with a stand up desk.
8. Improved Ergonomics And Posture
Standing up at your workstation can bring significant benefits to your posture, according to studies. A well-adjusted standing desk promotes proper ergonomics, which is key to maintaining a healthy posture throughout your workday.
By using a height-adjustment feature, you can set your standing desk at an optimal level for your body. The monitor should be at eye level, and the keyboard and mouse should be positioned so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
Plus, you can also use an anti-fatigue mat while standing. This can further boost the positive effects on your posture and reduce the discomfort of standing for bouts throughout the day.
9. It May Help You Live Longer
All these benefits really stack on top of each other to improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
As you can see, a sedentary lifestyle, characterized by long periods of time spent sitting, has been linked to an increased risk of various health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
By reducing your sitting time and standing up more during your workday, you might be able to lower these risks.
Studies show that those who sit at their desk the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least. Another study showed that reducing sitting time to 3 hours a day would increase the average American’s life expectancy by up to 2 years.
How to Use a Standing Desk Correctly?
To reap the health benefits of standing desks, it’s important to use them correctly. In fact, improper use may lead to discomfort, strain, and even an increased risk of issues like neck pain and upper back problems.
Alternate Between Sitting And Standing
Standing all day isn’t the ultimate solution either. It’s about finding the right balance between sitting and standing during your workday.
And so, when using a standing desk, it’s important not to stand for too long. Standing for long periods of time can lead to discomfort and strain on your lower back and legs, including the risk of developing varicose veins. The key is to alternate between sitting and standing.
Start by standing for short bouts and gradually increase your standing time. For instance, you might start with standing for 15 minutes every hour and then gradually increase to 30 minutes.
Remember, the aim is not to eliminate sitting completely but to reduce your sitting time.
Adjust Your Desk
To maximize the health benefits of standing, it’s important to set up your stand-up desk correctly. A poorly adjusted desk can lead to discomfort, strain, and even injury.
Start by making sure your standing desk fits your height. The desk’s height should allow your elbows to be at a 90-degree angle while typing on the keyboard or using the mouse. This position reduces strain on your neck, upper back, and lower back.
Then, position your monitor at eye level to avoid neck pain. If your monitor is too high or too low, you’ll strain your neck and upper back, leading to discomfort throughout your workday.
Use Standing Desk Accessories
To enhance the benefits of standing during your workday, consider incorporating standing desk accessories into your workstation.
For instance, an anti-fatigue mat can provide comfort and relieve strain on your lower back and legs during long periods of time standing up. These mats are designed to promote subtle movements and improve circulation, which can help reduce the risk of varicose veins.
A lot of people have found success using a balance board under their desk. This keeps you from leaning on one side consistently and gives you a little more movement.
Another great and popular option is an under-desk treadmill (standing treadmill). Walking while working burns calories, reduces the risk of weight gain and diabetes, and boosts mood and energy levels.
Take Frequent Breaks
Spending your entire workday standing up isn’t the goal. In fact, standing for long periods of time can lead to discomfort and strain. The key is balance.
Taking breaks from standing helps to avoid fatigue and promotes proper circulation. It also gives your upper back and lower back a rest from maintaining a standing posture. Remember, the idea is to avoid staying in one position for too long.
Have you tried standing up to work?
Isn’t it weird how we’re conditioned to sit to focus?
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