Sitting too much is seriously bad for your health.
People who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and early death and many studies have linked it to weight gain and obesity
This is a major problem for office workers because they sit down for most of the day. Fortunately, standing desks are becoming increasingly popular.
1. Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Weight gain is ultimately caused by taking in more calories than you burn.
While exercise is the most effective way to burn calories quickly, simply choosing to stand instead of sitting can also be beneficial.
In fact, when compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories
That’s almost 1000 extra calories burned each week from simply standing at your desk each afternoon.
This caloric difference could be one of the reasons why sitting longer is so strongly linked to obesity and metabolic disease
2. Using a Standing Desk May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Generally speaking, the more your blood sugar levels increase after meals, the worse it is for your health.
In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time
Both groups took the same amount of steps, indicating that the smaller spike was due to standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.
3. Standing May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
The idea that standing is better for heart health was first proposed in 1953.
A study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as their colleagues in the driver’s seats.
Since then, scientists have developed a much greater understanding of the effects of sitting on heart health, with prolonged sedentary time thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
4. Standing Desks Appear to Reduce Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day.
To determine if standing desks could improve this, several studies have been done on employees with long-term back pain.
Participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks.
5. Standing Desks Help Improve Mood and Energy Levels
Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being.
In one 7-week study, participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire workday.
Additionally, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigour and energy throughout the day.
6. Standing Desks May Even Boost Productivity
A common concern about standing desks is that they hinder daily tasks, such as typing.
In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for 4 hours each day had no impact on characters typed per minute or typing errors.
Considering that standing improves mood and energy as well, using a standing desk is more likely to boost productivity rather than hinder it.
Reducing sedentary time can improve physical, metabolic and even mental health. This is why sitting less and standing more is such an important lifestyle change.
If you plan to start using a standing desk, it’s recommended you split your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.