Standing desks have become increasingly popular in the last few years, but you’re probably wondering if they’re really good for you. The answer is yes! It’s not just because you have more energy, can think clearer, feel more energised and are more productive, but there are scientific health benefits too!
Because the average western-world office worker sits for between 9-10 hours a day, scientists have been pouring money into researching the health effects of our sedentary lifestyles. What they found is quite terrifying, and compelling. There are indisputable links between sitting and: Developing Type 2 diabetes, greatly increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, obesity, varicose veins, headache and chronic back pain.
So! With all these facts on the effects of sitting, the standing desk has begun enjoying more popularity, and it really could be your key to a healthier workplace.
When standing, your spine sits in its normal, anatomical position with gentle curves throughout. When sitting though, these curves are dramatically accentuated, and place huge strain on the delicate vertebrae that make up your spinal column. A standing desk is best for your back, and a study showed 32% decrease in back pain in those with standing desks.
We know there’s been an irrefutable link between increased risk of heart disease and sitting all day. While the link is unclear, it’s believe to be because of the decrease in fat metabolism speed while sitting, leading to more fatty deposits in your arteries called atherosclerosis. Standing stimulates your regular metabolic processes, and you’re less likely to develop these fatty deposits if standing all day.
The links between sitting all day and developing Type 2 Diabetes are proven due to an overproduction of insulin in the pancreas. When standing though, the pancreas isn’t stimulated to overproduce insulin, keeping blood levels more stable, and decreasing your risk of developing diabetes.
ANXIETY, STRESS & DEPRESSION
Sitting at a computer has definite links to depression, anxiety and stress. Thought to be due to an overproduction of cortisol, the stress response is triggered when sitting, and anxiety results. Similarly, the disengagement of global muscle groups while sitting causes a decrease in endorphin production, leading to low mood. Standing and moving helps stimulate production of endorphins and prevent the stress response to be activated when it’s not needed, like when you’re at work.
STANDING VS. SITTING DESK
As you can see, a standing desk has incredibly benefits both for mental acuity, as well as psychological state, metabolic and heart health. If standing all day sounds like too much, try a convertible desk that works for both sitting and standing. You’ll be using it in a standing position more and more once you notice the positive benefits.
Most people struggle to remember to get up and stay active while at work, which you’ve read can lead to serious health problems. To combat these, try a program like Fister that reminds you how and when to get moving and how to do it in the workplace. This one program could mean the difference between a serious health problem, and you’re best workplace health.