We spend a third of our hours in a day working. If you include travel time then we spend a large portion of our waking hours sitting down. Many studies have shown that prolonged sitting time is a health risk and can lead to a number of damaging conditions, particularly in workers with sedentary jobs.
So, as an office worker, how do you negate the damages of sitting at your desk all day?
This is where the standing desk comes in. But are they worth it or just another office fad?
It’s clear that standing desks are a worthwhile investment for both businesses and employees, and they are most definitely not a fad. To prove it, here are the five top advantages of using a standing desk:
1. Relieves back and neck pain
Standing has been proven to reduce back and neck pain often caused by sitting and poor posture. In the ‘Take a Stand’ Project by CDC in 2011, over four weeks the sit-stand desks reduced sitting time by 224% (66 minutes per day) and reduced upper back and neck pain by 54%. In the two weeks following the test where they removed the desks, these improvements were lost.
2. Increases energy level and reduces stress, resulting in higher productivity and concentration
Standing gives you an energy boost, kind of like a caffeine hit, only without the crash. Participants in a 2013 study in Sydney called ‘Thinking On Your Feet‘ reported they felt more energised than those using traditional sitting desks. This in turn can also reduce stress as standing gives you the opportunity to stretch your muscles and get rid of some of that fatigue and frustration that might be holding you down.
Standing also pumps blood around your body and brain, increasing overall brain function. This means that your concentration, creativity and productivity are improved as well as overall physical and mental well-being.
3. Can reduce long-term health risks
Prolonged sitting time, particularly when in a sedentary state, has been associated with many serious health conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Metabolic syndrome
However, breaks in sedentary activity have been shown to benefit adult metabolic profiles, which in turn can lead to lower health risks related to waist circumference, body mass index, and triglyceride levels.
4. Standing Improves job satisfaction
Standing helps to release endorphins, which improves overall mood and leaves you feeling happier at work.
5. Standing increases your daily exercise levels, helping you burn more calories
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, more than half of all Australian adults are not active enough. The recommended weekly activity levels are 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity. So, moving wherever you can will help you reach these targets, particularly when you can sometimes feel like you’re chained to your desk all day.
Standing instead of sitting can also help you burn 20-50 more calories per hour. While that may not sound like much, the numbers certainly add up throughout the day.
Remember, beating the sedentary work life cannot be done by solely purchasing a standing desk, but also with eating well and exercising. But it will make you feel better, more productive and achieve better results in your workplace.