You’ve probably seen that sitting & standing desks have been all the rage recently, with many people going all-in and starting to stand all day at work. Users of standing desks are usually quite willing to tell you about the benefits, but there has been some backlash recently. Standing desk benefits have been disputed in some areas. This often leads to some mixed messages, and can leave you wondering if standing desks are good for you?
Standing desks are good for you and have a lot of benefits, but you need to use them correctly. You also have to be aware that there are limits to their benefits. People who purpose that standing to work is a different way of life might be overstating things. Using a standing desk definitely has its benefits. These extended far beyond just a sense of self-satisfaction or general ‘posture’ help though. A standing desk can actually help you improve the way that you work.
A lot of the benefits of standing desks are more about what they don’t do to you. Standing desks have their health benefits, but they’re also helping you by preventing you from sitting! Some of the main benefits of standing desks come from stopping your health from getting hurt by sitting too much. This is how it all works.
Are Standing Desks Good for You?
Standing desks are definitely good for you. However, the backlash against them in recent years is more due to their benefits being overstated. There is still a consensus that standing desks are good for you.
Standing desks help you with both your posture and your general health. Their health benefits can do a lot to even out the sedentary lifestyle that can build up if you’re stuck at a desk all day.
However, it is important to put this into context. Standing up at work isn’t going to make your health significantly better by itself. A standing desk is a part of living a healthier lifestyle, so if you want a lot of benefits you’ve got to be exercising, eating right, and resting properly. In the past standing desk benefits have been overstated, but they are still good for you.
What’s Wrong with Sitting?
One of the main benefits of using a standing desk is just that you’re not sitting. Sitting is, of course, fine… in moderation. However, sitting all day at work followed by sitting in your leisure time has been found to have some pretty bad effects on your overall health. These are some of the problems that come with sitting all day:
- You’re at a Greater Risk of Diabetes – This study has found that sitting a lot every day will increase your risk of diabetes, which can be debilitating for the rest of your life.
- Heart Disease – Like diabetes, you run a greater risk of heart disease in the long term if you spend too much time sitting.
- Weight – When you spend all day sitting, you’re going to be putting on weight easier than those with a more active work routine like a standing desk. Obviously this needs to be balanced with an active lifestyle. However, sitting all day will make it harder to keep weight off which can cause serious problems for your long term health.
With so many risks associated with sitting all day, it is clear that office workers need to think about this. If your job seems to necessitate being tied to a desk, then you’ve got to think outside the box a little to avoid these problems. This is where a standing desk comes in.
What Does a Standing Desk Do?
A standing desk is a pretty simple concept. It essentially is a desk that allows you to stand up and still work comfortably. While you should achieve this using some pretty big stacks of books under each leg of your desk, the ergonomics are important.
Your posture and use of a standing desk are going to affect how many health benefits you get from using this set-up. Using a specific standing desk that is designed to make you comfortable while operating standing up is a big improvement. On top of this, many manufacturers currently have desks that can alternate between sitting or standing. They contain elements to make either position comfortable. This is a great compromise and can help you use both a standing and sitting desk in an office. You can even get standing stands that can be adjusted for height, to make sure it is exactly attuned to you.
What are the Health Benefits of Standing Desks?
Outside of just getting you up and off of your feet, what are the actual health benefits of standing desks? These are the major benefits that come from using a standing desk instead of sitting all day:
- Lowers Risk of Obesity- You’re going to burning more calories by standing at work, which helps you to avoid obesity and the great number of health problems that comes with it. Studies have found that when you compare sedentary work with working while standing, you’ll gain quite a few more calories per hour.
- Blood Sugar – A study has found that using a standing desk for a good portion of a working day is going to help you to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level after eating lunch.
- Back Pain – Alternating between sitting and sitting on a desk has been found to greatly reduce the back and neck pain of those using them.
- Energy Levels – Studies have found that standing desks help you to feel more proactive and productive. Those who use standing desks have found that they feel they have more energy. Feeling like you have more energy is a big help toward your productivity.
- Working Better – If you’re feeling less fatigued and having more energy throughout the day then you’re going to be more productive. A standing desk can help you get more done by working smarter.
Standing Desk Benefits
Those health benefits are all good reasons to use standing desks. Spending less time sitting is quite beneficial to your overall health. However, never sitting down isn’t too much better. Standing all day aside form sleeping is going to get tiring for most people. A standing desk is good for you, but you need to use it properly.
These are some things to keep in mind about using a standing desk in a healthy way:
- Standing and Sitting is Good for You – Try to alternate between standing and sitting. This should give you the best of both worlds and avoid the major problems that come with constantly using either set up.
- 50 – 50 – A recommended way to do things is to do 50% standing and 50% sitting in your workday.
- Exercise – A standing desk isn’t the only way to get your exercise. It should be part of a balanced lifestyle.
- Ergonomics – Try to keep in mind the comfort of working standing up. If you’re used to working sitting down, you might need to switch shoes to something more comfortable when you’re on your feet.
As long as you’re using a standing desk properly, you’re going to get a lot of health benefits. Standing desks are good for you, and being on your feet at work can help you to be both healthier and more productive.