Standing desks have become increasingly prevalent in contemporary offices as a result of the ongoing change in the culture of the workplace. When compared to standard seated desks, standing desks provide a number of advantages for one's health that have recently come to the attention of a growing number of individuals.
What is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk, also known as a sit-stand desk or stand-up desk, is a desk that can be modified to accommodate both standing and seated positions. You are able to work in either a seated or standing position, giving you the flexibility to transition between the two throughout the course of the day. The use of a standing desk can have several different advantages for your health, including improvements to circulation and energy levels, as well as a reduction in the potential for certain diseases and ailments. In addition, studies have shown that workers who use standing workstations report higher levels of productivity, creativity, and overall job happiness.
Health Benefits of Using a Standing Desk
According to The Sun, 37 percent of Brits spend less than 30 minutes a day on their feet! Some people might not understand the risks of sitting stationary 9 to 5 all day at your desk. However, Cambridge University found that 9 to 5 office jobs have detrimental health effects that can be linked to causes of one in every six deaths - that's 90,000 per year. Introducing standing into your daily routine can help to reduce these health risks and, instead, offer several potential health benefits.
1. Reduces the Risk of Obesity
Long periods of sitting have been related to a variety of health problems, including obesity. When you use a standing desk, you are more likely to burn more calories than when you are sat, lowering your risk of obesity. Standing desks can burn up to 50 calories more per hour than seated desks, according to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Furthermore, just two hours of standing every day can help burn up to 200 calories, which is similar to a 30-minute jog or 20 minutes of swimming.
2. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
One of the top causes of death worldwide is heart disease. Prolonged sitting has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, according to research. Standing causes your heart rate to increase and your blood circulation to improve. Standing desks can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 49%, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Standing desks can also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
3. Reduces Back Pain
Prolonged hours of sitting can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Standing allows you to relieve strain on your lower back and lower your chances of back pain. According to CDC research, participants who used standing workstations experienced a 54% reduction in back and neck pain. Also, standing can assist improve your posture, lowering your risk of back problems.
4. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Standing desks also drop the risk of diabetes when switching from sitting to standing. A small sample size of 10 office workers found that standing the remainder of the day after coming back from lunch reduced their blood sugar spike by 43% when compared to sitting the same amount of time.
5. Improves Posture
Utilising a stand-up desk can help you improve your posture by allowing you to stand up straight, activate your core muscles, and maintain good spine alignment. Healthy posture has been related to higher energy, better happiness, and improved cognitive function. You can lessen the risk of strain on your neck, shoulders, and back by standing and keeping appropriate posture.
6. Increases Energy Levels
Prolonged durations of sitting can also lead to weariness and a decrease in energy levels. Standing increases your chances of being active, burning calories, and increasing your energy levels. Standing desk users reported higher energy levels and less exhaustion than seated desk users, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Standing can also aid enhance circulation, which increases oxygen and nutrition supply to your muscles, resulting in increased energy levels.
7. Boosts Productivity
Standing desks can also boost productivity. Standing makes you more alert, concentrated, and less prone to distraction. According to a study conducted by Texas A&M University, participants who utilised standing desks were 45% more productive than those who used standard desks. Standing can also assist to reduce soreness and weariness, allowing you to stay focused and on task for longer periods of time.
8. Improves Mood
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to a higher risk of both anxiety and depression A standing desk can help to improve mood and overall well-being by keeping you active and engaged, and thus reducing the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Physiologically, standing also helps improve blood circulation, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and improves cognitive function and concentration.
In addition to these health benefits, a standing desk can also be beneficial for the environment. By reducing the amount of time spent sitting, a standing desk can help to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by the energy used to power computers and other electronic devices.
Overall, a standing desk is a good choice for those who spend a lot of time working at a desk. It can help to improve overall health and well-being, increase energy and productivity, and promote better circulation. It's a small change that can make a big difference in the long run.
Types of Standing Desks
Standing Desks That Are Fixed In Place
These are standing desks that do not have the option to have their height modified. They are well suited for persons who have a height that falls somewhere in the middle of the range and who favour working in a standing position. If you do not need to switch between standing and sitting throughout the day, a fixed standing desk may be a good alternative for you because they are typically more economical than adjustable standing desks.
Adjustable Standing Desks
Desks that can be adjusted in height so that they can be used in either a sitting or standing posture are known to as adjustable standing desks. They are a good option for people who wish to spend the day alternating between standing and sitting throughout the course of the workday. There is a wide variety of styles available for height-adjustable standing desks, including both manual and electric ones. In manual models, the height of the desk is adjusted by turning a crank or pulling a lever; in electric ones, the desk is raised and lowered by an electric motor. Adjustable standing desks are more adaptable than fixed standing desks since they enable you to vary between numerous settings in order to achieve the most comfortable working position possible.
Desktop Standing Desks
Desktop standing desks are designed to sit on top of a standard desk, allowing you to turn your ordinary workstation into a standing desk without having to purchase a new one. These are perfect for people who do not have the room or the budget for a full-sized standing desk. They come in a variety of sizes. Desktop standing workstations are available in a variety of styles, including ones that are either fixed or adjustable. Standing workstations with adjustable desktops typically have a gas spring or lever that may be used to change the height of the desk. In addition to this, they are portable, so they can be transported from one location to another with relative ease.
How to Use Standing Desks Effectively
If you have never used a standing desk before, it is important to ease into the practice gradually. You should start by standing for brief amounts of time, and as you get adjusted to the new posture, gradually extend the duration of your standing. It is recommended that you begin by standing for thirty minutes to one hour, and then progressively increase the amount of time you spend standing until you reach the maximum of four hours each day.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
It is essential to put on shoes that are not only comfortable but also offer enough support while working at a standing desk. Foot pain and discomfort are common side effects of wearing shoes with inadequate support, such as high heels. It is a good idea to wear shoes that have a cushioned sole, arch support, and a broad toe box since these features will assist distribute your weight evenly, reducing the likelihood that you will experience foot pain.
Maintain Proper Posture
When you’re working at a standing desk, it is critical to ensure that your posture is correct at all times. Maintain a straight stance, contract the muscles in your core, and let your shoulders hang loose. You should try to avoid slouching or leaning on your desk because doing either of these things might put strain on your back and neck.
Standing for long periods of time can also be problematic. Prolonged standing can lead to varicose veins, leg cramps, and back pain. It's important to find a balance between sitting and standing and to take frequent breaks to move and stretch.
When working at a standing desk then, it is just as vital to take breaks as it is when working at a sitting desk. To reduce weariness and strain, take frequent brief intervals during which you sit down and stretch your legs.
Use A Comfortable Pressure Mat
Foot soreness and weariness are common side effects of standing on a hard surface for long periods of time. Invest on a cushioned pad or standing floor mat for your feet so that you can lessen the likelihood of experiencing foot pain.
To summarize, standing desks have several great outcomes on one's health, including but not limited to lowering the risk of obesity, heart disease, and elevated back discomfort, as well as improving posture, energy levels, and overall productivity. There are several variations of standing desks that can be purchased nowadays, such as those that are fixed in place, those that can be adjusted, and desktop sit stand desks. It is crucial to start gently when utilising a standing desk, maintain appropriate posture at all times, take breaks, and use shoes and mats that are comfortable to stand on. You can make positive changes to both your physical and mental health simply by introducing a standing desk into your daily work routine.
Note that a standing desk may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who have certain medical conditions, injuries or physical limitations. It's always recommended to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before making any major changes to your work setup.
Date Published: April 17, 2023
Last Updated: November 14, 2023