Standing Desk Benefits
Did you know that the average person can spend around 12 hours a day sitting? Whether it’s in the car or bus to and from work, putting in a full day at the office, sitting down to eat, or relaxing on the sofa with the game console at the end of a busy day, when you tot it all up, sitting doesn’t really leave that much time to get active!
When you also consider the associated health risks to being sedentary and suddenly too much sitting becomes serious business. So, while you should take regular breaks, stretch and get moving, there’s now a new office trend that aims to stand up to sitting down…quite literally.
More and more of us are looking to work and (game) play from standing desks to help beat the slump. These nifty devices do exactly what they say on the tin: they support you to comfortably stand while working at your desk or on a computer.
But do they really work? Gear Hungry examined the top seven benefits of standing desks to see if they really deserve the hype. Our verdict – yup, we think they do.
1. Reduces back pain/improves posture
Who hasn’t been so in the zone that you don’t even know how long you’ve been in the same position at your desk until you gaze up at the clock and it’s almost lunch-time! Or sat down for a short video game blast and it’s suddenly after midnight and you still haven’t looked away from the gaming monitor? Then you go to move and boy, does your back creak and bones ache!
Standings desks can help to reduce the back and neck pain most commonly associated with sitting for prolonged periods as well as iron out the humped shoulders and rounded back that comes with a ‘seriously slumped at the desk’ posture.
You don’t have to use a standing desk all day, even using it in regular bursts is enough to get you up and moving .… as well as engaging those core muscles to keep you standing tall. For extra comfort, use with a standing desk mat to keep your feet happy.
2. Lowers risk of obesity
Sitting longer is linked to potential weight gain. The math on this one is quite simple – move and you use more energy. Simply standing is known to power through more calories than sitting down – estimates suggest using a standing desk for a few hours each afternoon will see an extra 1,000 of the little Cs burned over a week. And, as the wisdom goes, if you stand more, you are most likely to move more – and more often.
But there’s more to a standing desk than just blasting through a few extra calories, they can also help to influence your ‘in-desk habits’. By shaking up your office or gaming routine and consciously moving to a standing position that encourages greater movement, you are less likely to engage in bouts of unconscious snacking such as reaching for another biscuit or bag of chips. Stand more and stay fitter and slimmer – now that’s a win, win.
3. Improves mood and energy
A standing desk and standing desk mat can also help to beat the dreaded mid-afternoon energy slump. More than that, many standing desk users have reported less stress and fatigue at the end of the day than their totally-seated colleagues. In short, it appears using a standing desk – even if it’s for just a few hours a day – can really have a positive influence on your overall wellbeing. Beats pouring your 10th cup of over-brewed office coffee in a desperate bid for a pick-me-up, that’s for sure!
And it’s not difficult to see why – standing and moving around more gets the blood pumping and the muscles and joints on the go, boosting energy levels and reducing those sedentary aches and pains. Moving more, especially in the office, could also mean you’re more likely to interact with others, rather than staying in one place with just the gaming monitor or on-screen spreadsheet for a company.
4. Could lower blood sugar levels
Linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles, type 2 diabetes is on the rise and sitting down for prolonged periods of time can also contribute. Research has shown that too much sitting can impact on the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, increasing the risk of developing the disease.
We are all being encouraged to get active and move more to help reduce the levels of sugar in our blood and this is where the benefits of standing desks really come in. Our blood sugar levels spike after eating but even a few hours standing after lunch or your evening meal will help to bring these levels down. Breaking the sedentary cycle by standing and moving each day will help to protect you against metabolic syndrome and could significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Simply put – use a standing desk and your health will certainly thank you for it.
5. Boosts productivity
Ok, so standing desks do have their detractors, with claims that using them for a full day’s work can actually hinder tasks, such as typing, rather than helping.
We agree that using a standing desk could initially take some getting used to but with the right product, set up correctly, and there should be no negative impact on your daily routine. In fact, a standing desk, coupled with a standing desk mat is a great addition to your working day.
Withstanding actually shown to improve mood and energy as well as getting you more active, your new standing desk is more likely to boost your overall productivity than hinder it. That’s something your boss will be pleased to hear.
6. May lower risk of heart disease
Prolonged sedentary time is thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%…now that’s a stat we all need to stand up to. Sitting all day and doing little or no exercise could well be putting your heart health on the line so spending more time on your feet can only be beneficial.
Even if you mix up sitting with standing throughout your day, you can help to reduce your risk of heart disease in the future. So, now’s the time to make a standing desk your new office best friend.
7. Could help you live longer
A recent study has shown that when people reduce their sitting time to around three hours a day, they can add on average, another two years to their life expectancy. Standing more – and so getting active and more inclined to move around and exercise – has also been shown to improve our overall health and wellbeing. These standing desk marvels can even potentially help to reduce life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease by getting us to stand up and step away from a sedentary lifestyle.
So, while we may not really want to live forever, we are all for prolonging a healthy, happy life. And if a standing desk can help us squeeze as much out of the time out of the life we have, then they’ve definitely got our vote!