By Allen Michael
Sitting for extended periods of time has been proven to bring with it a variety of negative health effects. More and more research is coming out that links prolonged periods of sitting with health issues ranging from obesity to heart disease to diabetes. The larger problem is that Americans are sitting more than ever before, totaling six hours per day on average while at work.
Depending on your situation, one way to prevent this problem is to utilize a standing desk at your office. Here are X reasons to consider making the switch:
1. Health Benefits
The research is clear: sitting is bad. Standing (instead of sitting) has been proven to lower the risk of obesity, because you are burning calories when you are standing. Not as many as when you are exercising, but one study found you burn an average of 170 calories when standing all afternoon. You also lower your blood sugar levels, thus reducing your chances at diabetes, and lower your chance at heart disease.
In addition, your muscles will be in use far more. Believe it or not, standing all day can actually lessen back and joint pain. Standing keeps a variety of muscle groups in constant use, whereas sitting allows many of those groups to shut off.
Lastly, you live longer. A 2011 study found that Americans can increase their life expectancy by two years if they reduce their sitting time from six hours per day to three hours per day.
2. Productivity Benefits
For starters, lets clear the air on one common misconception: you don’t get more tired from standing all day long. At first, when you are adjusting to the change, this might be the case. But feedback has almost always been than switching to a standing desk will increase your energy levels. 87% of those researched using a standing desk reported more vigor and energy throughout their day.
Other benefits can include less stress and fatigue, and higher productivity. The research isn’t as conclusive, because it can depend a lot on the specific task. For typing, emailing, and data input, there aren’t any connections that you will be faster at a standing desk.
However, for brainstorming and strategy, standing keeps your blood flow higher and increases blood flow to the brain, perhaps making your efforts more productive.
3. Personal Benefits
It’s true – you feel better when you haven’t been sitting all day. You might not need that afternoon cup of coffee to keep going. You might leave work feeling excited about the evening ahead, rather than exhausted and counting down until bed time.
How to Make the Most of a Standing Desk
If you’re ready to make the switch, here are a few tips to ensure you see all of the benefits from a standing desk:
- Ease into it. Get an adjustable standing desk, and start with standing for 2 hours in the afternoon. After a few weeks, if you feel ready, starting increasing the amount of time.
- Get an anti-fatigue mat to stand on. These specially designed mats are designed to lessen the impact of standing on your feet, making it a lot to make the transition to standing at work.
- Find the best height for your desk. Some experts recommend the desk should be at elbow height. Either may, make certain you aren’t slumping or tweaking your muscles to type.
Switching to a standing desk will have a lot of benefits to both your health and productivity. Additionally, it leaves you with a lot more energy to tackle all of the other aspects of your life.
Allen Michael is the founder and editor of a collection of expert-focused topical websites, most notably Saw Hub and The Stick Vacuums. Detail oriented and obsessed with efficiency, Allen focuses the sites on providing relevant, pertinent information to guide and assist each site’s target market.