Studies have shown consistently that employees who sit for several hours throughout the workday can suffer from more health issues than those who walk or stand even a few minutes an hour.
If you are an office worker who is required to stay at a desk during the day, a standing desk may help alleviate everything from pain to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
A standing desk is a great way to holistically improve your health and bodily comfort because each of its benefits works together as part of the action of standing rather than sitting.
One of the great benefits of a standing desk is that it improves your muscle strength without any need for extra activity or exercise. Simply by standing at your desk for longer periods of time, you can improve your core strength as well as your leg strength and balance.
Standing requires the use of many different muscles to keep your body supported and balanced, and engaging these muscles throughout the day rather than letting them relax like you do while sitting has great health benefits.
A standing desk can improve your muscle strength quite literally from head to toe – everything from your neck to your core to your feet will benefit from the extended time standing up.
Even short periods of time standing can have benefits. If you have a convertible standing desk, you can stand or sit according to your fitness level and slowly build your strength up over time.
In fact, to get the most benefit, you should sit down every one to two hours to allow your body to rest. This will keep you from getting exhausted or burned out at your standing desk.
Activity Level and Fitness
Using a standing desk can also improve your activity level and fitness in other ways. If you are standing, you’re more likely to do other activities such as walking around on breaks or at lunch.
Those who stand rather than sit throughout the day have been found to be more inclined to move around their workspace during the day, and even have more energy and willingness to exercise when they’re away from their desk.
When you’re standing rather than sitting, you’re more likely to walk away from your desk, for example, to get water or to talk to a coworker in person rather than on the phone. As the standing desk builds your muscle strength and tolerance, it will also increase your ability to exercise, which can build up over time to increase your overall fitness.
Health and Disease Risk
Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time has a significant impact on your health and your risk for certain diseases. Sedentary activity (sitting or laying down for long periods of time) increases the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, even if you are exercising outside of your sitting hours.
While getting up from your desk and walking around for a few minutes an hour can help with this, a standing desk is a much better alternative because it almost completely eliminates these risks.
By standing rather than sitting, you are drastically improving your health and reducing your risk for the diseases associated with sitting for long periods of time, and can even improve your posture and spinal health because you’re less likely to be hunched over or otherwise sitting improperly.
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with using a standing desk rather than sitting down. It’s highly recommended that office workers use standing desks even as an alternative to an ergonomic office chair, which provides some benefits but not as many.
Your health, posture, strength, and even your mood can improve when you’re using a standing desk, and many people see these results both quickly and over the long term. If you’re considering getting a standing desk, don’t wait any longer to make that improvement in your life.