Stand Up Desks: Are They A Simple Answer To Better Health?
Many studies that have come out in recent years showing that sitting for long periods of time can be extremely bad for your health, and needless to say this is bad news for the many tens of millions of office workers out there who spend a lot of time on their feet all the time. There have been several different companies looking for a solution and this has made stand up desks a popular option to help take care of these problems.But how effective are they really? Read on to find out!
Standing Desks Burn More Calories
There are some disputes about just how many more calories standing all day burns as opposed to sitting. No question a one hour or even a half hour walk will likely burn far more than even standing for most of an 8 hour day, however standing does burn more calories than sitting.
Studies do vary between how many extra calories burned, anywhere from 88 to 200, but every little bit adds up especially over the weeks, months, and years.
Lowers Risk Of Obesity & Diabetes
Sitting has been directly linked to higher levels of obesity as well as higher instances of diabetes. Whether this is from the problems that come with more fat, less exercise, or just sitting itself (or most likely, a combination of all of them), there’s no question that long periods of sitting is extremely bad for a person’s overall health.
A standing desk takes away those negative effects from long-term sitting, which makes it far easier for an individual using them to fight obesity and diabetes, as well as the other many negative effects that come from sitting hours each day.
Slumped shoulders, weak supporting back muscles, and bad posture are all common effects from office jobs that involve long periods of sitting. Good posture isn’t just good for the muscles in your body but that helps you look better, look healthier, and reduces problems with weak muscles or your body getting out of whack in general.
Improved posture is a major plus for people who want to look better, more confident, and generally speaking individuals with good posture are seen as more attractive by members of the opposite sex.
Helps Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Check
One of the major, and often untold, benefits of standing desks is that they help to keep blood sugar levels from spiking after lunch. These spikes can result in most calories from meals going directly to fat and have negative effects on the body’s systems, including the pancreas, insulin, and various bodily issues that can directly lead to diabetic issues over the long term.
Standing has clearly shown to keep blood sugar levels from spiking, making this a major benefit and many workers even reported this change resulted them in no longer feeling a common post meal fatigue (crash) that would make it very difficult to concentrate, work, or even stay awake. The simple act of standing at a desk instead of sitting was often enough to counteract these and led to better performance at work which is always good for the workers themselves.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Strangely, individuals who spend 8 hours or more a day at a desk job have been shown to have higher rates of cancer than the general population by a pretty notable margin. Simply shifting to a standing desk with no other changes is enough to make that surge disappear. As stated earlier, sitting for long periods of time has serious negative health issues, and if standing at the desk instead of sitting reduces the cancer rate, that seems like a small change with massive positive benefits!
Stronger Legs, Hips, & Back
Large amounts of time spent sitting can lead to weaker muscles in a variety of body parts, in addition to making the body a bit weaker or more uncomfortable with long periods of standing. At first a standing desk can be a bit uncomfortable especially for someone who has gotten used to sitting for a very long time.
This can mean some cramping and pain early on but sticking it out is worth it. Adjusting to a standing desk can help re-align the lower body the way it should be, re-strengthening muscles and connective tissue so your body gets used to standing for long periods again like it is naturally designed to do. This also goes very hand in hand if you have bad posture that will need correcting over time.
A Bevy Of General Benefits
In addition to the many benefits that have already been mentioned, there is an array of other benefits that include, but are not limited to:
– Better productivity
– More energy
– Less stress
– Better emotional state
Standing Prevents The Health Issues From Sitting
While there are plenty of decent benefits directly tied to using a standing, hoovering desk over a more conventional model, perhaps the best individual benefits of all come from the fact that a standing desk can correct all the problems that are known to come from sitting for long periods of time, not the least of which are a wide array of known health issues.
Just a short list of problems from long-term sitting that are dealt with by switching to standing desks include:
– Heart disease
– Cancer risk
– Posture & supporting muscle strength
– Increased death from any cause
– Back pain
– The post-lunch energy “crash”
– Higher rates of stress
So What’s The Final Verdict?
Some places put too much into the benefits of standing desks, especially when focusing on one part like losing weight. That being said, there’s no denying that sitting at a conventional desk for 6, 8, 10 or more hours a day is really terrible for the body. A standing desk isn’t the only solution, but it is a great first step to overcoming the many problems that conventional desks cause.
From happier and more productive workers, to better health and habits, it’s really hard not to like everything that a standing desk brings to the table. They are clearly a step in the right direction from conventional cubicle setups.