In an age where a big part of the population have desk-based office jobs, it is no surprise that sitting has been dubbed “the new smoking”. A large study published in Annals of Internal Medicine looked at the habits of nearly 8,000 adults and found that the amount of time participants spent sitting was directly correlated with their risk of early death.
The results of studies showing the detrimental affects that prolonged sitting is having on our health is finally gaining exposure, and standing desks are becoming very popular in the workplace. Here are my top four benefits of switching over to a standing desk.
1. You burn more calories
Just by standing up at your desk to work you can burn more calories. When compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories. Combine this with a walk or personal training session on your lunch break and you are well on track for improving your health, fitness and wellness!
It's recommended that you start off with 20 minute intervals of sitting and standing to allow your body to adjust. Ensure that you select an adjustable sitting to standing desk, and set an alarm at 20 minute intervals to remind you to stand up or sit down.
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2. You can reduce lower back and neck pain
Sitting for long periods is one of the main reasons we suffer from back and neck pain. Poor posture has a lot to do with this. Switching over to a standing desk can provide a huge relief for sufferers as it encourages correct posture. Users also become more aware of their posture when standing, rather than slumping and hunching forward over a computer in the sitting position.
Several studies show that standing desks can dramatically decrease chronic back pain caused by prolonged sitting. It's very important that you are correctly setup with your new stand-up desk to ensure the ergonomics are right for you.
3. You decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions caused by lifestyle - increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that occur together and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Studies show just how detrimental sitting is on our cardiovascular health. It is so harmful that even an hour of intense exercise may not make up for the negative effects of an entire day spend sitting! If reading this isn’t reason enough to go straight to your HR representative and request a standing desk, then I don’t know what is!
4. You increase your energy levels, decreased stress levels… and avoid the 3pm slump!
Standing up at your work station means that you are moving more, which equals less chance of that 3pm energy slump! Our bodies need to move on a regular basis, so introducing periods of standing will naturally increase energy levels and maintain a general sense of well being with decreased levels of stress…and stop us from reaching for that chocolate bar! One study found that 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigour and energy throughout the day.
I don't know about you, but I think that these are pretty big benefits for a small lifestyle change.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of standing desks or further improve your health, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.