As people spend more time during working hours sitting at a desk, browsing through content on a computer screen, standup desks have become increasingly popular. After all, sitting for hours at a time can be pretty uncomfortable. Did you know, though, that sitting for extended periods of time is actually one of the worst behaviors for your health?
It’s true. The body shuts down vital processes when you are seated, causing a full-body negative response. When you sit down, even in an ergonomic chair, electrical activity in your legs slows down, and calorie burning drops to as low as one calorie per minute. After just a few minutes, enzymes that break down fats in the body drop by 90%. Until you stand, the body doesn’t return to its natural state. Too much time spend in this position can do long-term damage.
Why You Should Use a Standing Desk
A standup desk can help you minimize this state. You can get work done without risking your health as much. The following are four great reasons to try out a standing desk at work instead of sitting in a traditional desk chair all day.
You’ll burn more calories. A 2013 study showed that using a standing desk caused the heart to beat an average of ten beats faster per minute than when sitting. This equals an additional fifty calories burnt per hour. It may not seem like much, but this really adds up when you spend 40 hours per week in the office. If you walk a bit at your desk, you can burn even more calories.
You’ll live longer. A 2010 study found that time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. Even if you exercise regularly, you are 40% more likely to die within the next 15 years than someone who sits three or fewer hours per day if you regularly sit all day at work. A standing desk brings this risk down.
You’ll be less at risk for obesity. Most people assume that the rise in obesity is likely correlated with an increase in consumption of fatty foods or a decrease in exercise rates, but between 1980 and 2000, a time when obesity rates doubled, exercise rates and diets actually changed very little. What did increase was sitting time, which jumped 8%. Even when you control for all other lifestyle factors, you are more likely to become obese the more you sit every day. A standup desk lowers this risk.
Your back will hurt less. Studies show that sitting puts more pressure on intervertebral discs than standing does. This increased pressure is a common cause of back pain, something almost every American adult has experienced. Standing more, and especially walking more, is a great way to mitigate this back pain.
When you use a standing desk, you are taking a small, manageable step towards a healthy life. This goes a long way towards standing desk, standup deskhelping you feel and perform better at your job.
Investing in Your Health at Work
Of course, standing desks may not be for everyone. Some people experience leg and foot pain while standing for long periods of time, and slouching at your standing desk instead of standing up tall will actually do even worse damage to your spine. Still, standing desks offer you an appealing alternative to the typical, terrible desk chair—even if it’s just for a small portion of your day.
In the end, you have to decide which works best for your work needs: sitting or standing desks. Ultimately, though, if a standup desk doesn’t work for you, you need to do something to minimize the time seated at work, even if it’s just taking a walking break every hour. Your health is a vital resource you can’t afford to waste.