One of the trendiest pieces of office furniture over the past few years seems to only grow more popular as time passes—the standing desk. If you aren’t reading this article while standing at one, you’ve surely seen one around the office or on some form of media. Of course, you may prefer to sit but you can get an adjustable desk which allows you to use it as both a standing and sitting desk.
It is easy to assume standing is healthier than sitting for the duration of a workday, but what exactly are the health benefits of standing rather than sitting for such a length of time?
Going with the Flow
The first benefit is not difficult to guess—it is a simple matter of gravity. Standing allows for more efficient blood flow throughout your body, increasing circulation. In turn, your organ system is supplied with optimum flow of oxygen throughout the day. This results in more energy, better focus, and overall better health . Adversely, long periods of sitting can decrease your circulation, as it slows the blood flow throughout your legs. This puts you at risk for blot clots which can lead to stroke or even death. Many have probably heard of blood clots happening on long airplane flights, but the same principle applies to the office; sitting for a prolonged amount of time carries significant risks. Standing desks can help prevent these risks.
While the most obvious way to burn calories is vigorous exercise with optimal cardiovascular output, you might be surprised how many more calories one can burn simply by standing. The number of calories a person burns simply by performing basic human functions such as breathing and digesting their food is dependent upon their personal fitness level. Regardless, every person is burning some quantity of calories at any given moment. The difference between calories burned while sitting versus standing is significant. The average amount of calories burned while sitting is anywhere from 60-130 an hour as opposed to standing which burns anywhere from 100-200 an hour, again depending on a person’s level of fitness. That differential can really add up throughout the day, leading to a significant higher amount of caloric loss. In turn, standing desks could help prevent obesity and illnesses which may come with it such as cardiovascular disease diabetes.
Pain Relief and Prevention
Many of us simply accept muscle soreness and stiffness as an inevitable part of aging—but what if a standing desk could alleviate some of that pain? Studies show excessive sitting contributes greatly to muscle pain—particularly that of the neck and back, because sitting “puts stress on the muscles and discs” of those areas. Not only are these flare ups of pain likely for those who spend a substantial amount of time sitting, but it is also more likely to result in chronic pain. Though the discomfort may begin with isolated incidents, “long bouts of sitting” will cause serious “wear and tear” on these muscles which can result in consistent, and even permanent, damage. One study found the act of standing continuously throughout an eight-hour work day decreased neck and back pain by 54%. Standing desks relieve pressure from vital muscle groups, resulting in a better quality of life with less pain.
Standing desks offer health benefits for your entire body. including your mind. As previously mentioned, the efficient blood flow to the brain is a definite benefit as better brain circulation diminishes brain fog and allows for sharper focus. Moreover, standing desks are shown to increase productivity and quicken response time. In a study reported by Forbes, done by Psychological Science, participants who stood had a quicker response time when given the same test as participants who sat. Standing requires increased subconscious concentration as you utilize more muscle groups to maintain balance. Therefore, the brain is already more engaged and primed for swiffer responses.
Be Well, Feel Well
Better circulation, superior caloric impact, decreased risk for obesity and its counterpart illnesses, alleviation of muscle pain, and improved brain health are some major benefits of standing desks. Overall, these benefits will result in a better quality of life, causing you to not only feel better physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Feeling better at work will lead to a happier and healthier environment, which is perhaps the greatest benefit of all.
If you are looking to get a good standing desk, you should choose a good brand like Autonomous. They offer many high quality standing desks that come with a desk drawer.