Are Standing Desks Good For You?
It wasn’t so long ago that standing desks were all the rage. Widely heralded as the harbinger of the workspace of the future, these innovative new variations on the tired old standard sit-down desks seemed to point the way forward.
And why not, after all? Early adopters quickly realized that spending more of their time standing had some clear benefits, at least for the short term. And for office workers that have slouched behind cramped desks for years, standing desks seemed like a much-needed change.
But are standing desks really all that? Do they actually provide any long-term benefits over the traditional sit-down desk? Most importantly, are standing desks good for you? Let’s find out!
Standing Desk Basics
Standing desks were originally intended to improve the ergonomics of the workplace. They largely succeeded on this score, improving the comfort and efficiency of workers.
It was around this time that a new catchphrase began making the rounds: “Sitting is the new smoking”. After being parroted in online articles and blogs, it was taken as gospel truth by those concerned with the long-term effects of sitting behind a desk for hours every day.
Whether or not that statement is true, one thing that can be said about standing desks is that they allow the user to work comfortably if they choose to stand up. The best examples of these types of office furniture even provide comparable ergonomic support as sit-down desks. “Sit-stand” models can even be adjusted according to the user’s height or preferences.
Benefits of Standing Desks
Standing desks do offer many benefits that make them ideally suited for modern workplaces. Some of the advantages of standing desks over standard office desks include:
- They help you burn more calories.All factors being equal, you will burn more calories when you are standing than sitting. With a standing desk, you spend more time standing up, which means you will use up stored calories faster during the day. This, in turn, could help you shed unwanted pounds and reduce the risk of diseases associated with excessive weight.
- They help you manage your blood sugar levels.Studies have found that standing desks can help curb spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes and people who have difficulty managing their blood sugar. The benefits of using a standing desk are usually more apparent after meals when the digestive system is processing the food you have just eaten.
- They could help reduce the risk of strokes or heart attacks.Other studies indicate that using standing desks can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Of course, you need to consult your doctor if you have a heart-related condition or suspect you have one. Even so, there is a good chance that standing up at work can be more beneficial to you than sitting down.
- They may provide relief against back pain.Using a standing desk at work could help ease the symptoms of chronic back pain. Whether you already have the condition or not, spending more time standing can provide considerable relief from back pain and discomfort.
- They can boost your energy levels.Ironically, sitting behind a desk for long periods at work can leave you feeling tired and drained. Conversely, using a standing desk can help sustain your energy levels throughout the day and prevent you from being fatigued. Many office workers that used standing desks in preference to sit-down desks claimed that they didn’t feel as tired as they normally did.
Proper Posture is the key
Whether you use a standing desk or a standard sit-down one, one factor that could affect your discomfort is your posture. While standing up at work has some clear benefits over sitting down, it is still important to maintain the correct posture. If you stand up but still hunch over your work surface, you could be just as uncomfortable as if you were hunched over while sitting down.
The Benefits of Walking Around
Regardless of whether you sit or stand, it is also important to take breaks occasionally and to walk around the office. Walking is even better for you than standing up, and you burn more calories as well.
Shifting to a standing desk can make a significant improvement to your comfort and well-being. But remember to maintain the proper posture and to take breaks from time to time to stretch your legs and walk. Doing so will help you maximize the benefits of standing desks.