While we all know that being sedentary is not ideal, until recently we didn’t have a solution that gets us out of the office chair without impacting productivity. That is now changing with the standing desk making its mark in corporate and home offices throughout the nation. Standing desk enthusiasts are improving their health and energy while working.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these 7 benefits of a standing desk will give you a pretty good idea of why choosing to stand instead of sitting will add to your life expectancy.
1. You will live longer
Medical research states the more time someone sits, the shorter life may be! “Many of us in modern society have jobs which involve sitting at a computer all day,” says Dr. Emma Wilmot, a research fellow at the University of Leicester in England. “We might convince ourselves that we are not at risk of disease because we manage the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day.”But, she says, we “are still at risk if we sit all day.”
2. Increased Energy Levels
The daily roller coaster, especially during the dreaded afternoon slump can be avoided by the standing desk. Energy levels remain more constant. Facebook recruiter Greg Hoy told the Wall Street Journal, “I don’t get the 3 o’clock slump anymore, I feel active all day long.”
3. You stay focused
Working on a project at your standing desk keeps you focused on that one task you are working on right then and there. You are no longer distracted by multitasking which means you stay focused for longer.
4. Productivity levels increase
According to the team at the Draugiem Group Standing desks led to up to 10% more productivity. The reason was that when standing, there was that sense of urgency to get the task done. Standing also led to higher energy levels so the nonproductive midafternoon slump didn’t arrive.
5. Your metabolism increases
You burn less calories per year than a person did 50 years ago. When you sit at your computer, your calorie burn slows to 1 calorie per minute. In the 1960’s nearly half of all jobs required physical activity, today its less than 20%. Today we have less physical jobs, more automation, and live life at a much busier pace. Going to the health club and working out for 45-60 minutes is not enough. We need to interject movement “throughout” the day to compensate for all those little movements that have slowly been eliminated from our daily routine.
6. Your gym time won’t be wasted
Regular exercise is a key factor to staying healthy. Going to the gym is the right step but if you couple that with sitting all day, you may negate the benefits of all your hard work. Recent studies tell us that we need to extend physical activity beyond the gym to make a bigger impact in our life. Research at The American Cancer Society (ACS) highlighted that spending more than 6 hours per day sitting for women increase the likelihood of dying by 37 percent (for men, it was 18 percent).
7. You are designing your health future
The human body is simply not designed to sit for many hours at a time. Spending all day with pressure on your spine can have long-term effects. Walking is when our spine is in “neutral”. Standing is the next best thing.
“The most striking feature of prolonged sitting is the absence of skeletal muscle contractions, particularly in the very large muscles of the lower limbs,” says David W. Dunstan, a professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, senior author of the Australian study, and a pioneer in the study of sedentary behavior.
When muscles don’t contract, they require less fuel, and the surplus, in the form of blood sugar, accumulates in the bloodstream, contributing to diabetes risk and other health concerns.
The best solution is to mix up your day with sitting, standing and walk. Your best position for your health is your next position.
For you overachievers who want to work while walking the next step up is to look at treadmill desks.
Are you ready to improve your health by standing and walking more while working? Leave a comment with your experience with standing or walking while you work. And any other creative ways you have to improve your health and decrease sitting time.