Several studies have revealed that prolonged sitting is bad for our health as it increases the risk for many lifestyle diseases and may even lead to early death.
Moreover, sitting burns only a few calories and it has been linked to weight problems like obesity. This has become a major problem for most office workers who have a sedentary lifestyle.
Fortunately, standing desks are now becoming more popular. And there isn’t a need to worry about having to stand up all day as there are many different designs of standing desks that can be adjustable such as the “sit-stand” desks. However, the question is, are there really any advantages to using standing desks?
Here are 7 benefits of using standing desks according to science:
1. It lowers the risk of weight gain and obesity.
Sitting only burns a few calories, and has been linked to weight problems. However, standing can burn over an additional 170 calories! That’s about 1,000 calories per week by simply standing at your desk. That’s like burning 5 cups of rice or about 10 slices of white bread every week! It may seem like a small amount, but it has a long-term effect, and can therefore reduce your risk of weight gain.
2. It may lower your blood sugar levels.
The sudden rise in blood sugar levels is definitely fatal for people who have diabetes, specially those who have Type 2 diabetes. However, a couple of studies have found that standing can reduce blood sugar spikes significantly.
A small study of 10 office workers who stood up for 180 minutes after eating lunch reduced their blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting.
Another study, which involved 23 office workers who alternately stood up and sat down every 30 minutes throughout the day, found that blood sugar spikes were reduced by 11.1% on average.
These studies support the findings of a previous study that sitting after meals increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 112%.
3. It may decrease the risk for heart disease.
A study conducted among bus conductors who stood all day revealed that they have decreased their risk for heart disease by 50%. Moreover, prolonged sitting has been linked to cardiovascular diseases. Prolonged sitting has harmful effects that even a one-hour exercise may not be enough to reverse the negative effects of sitting all day.
4. It appears to reduce back pain.
Many office workers who sit all day usually complain of back pain. If you are one of those who suffer from long term back pain, using a standing desk or a sit-stand desk may significantly reduce your back pain. Several studies have been conducted which involved people who have long term back pain and have reported to have observed improvements in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks.
5. It helps improve one’s mood and energy levels.
Standing desks may help improve one’s mood and energy levels. A study among office workers who used standing desks reported less fatigue and were less stressed than those who remained sitting all day. Moreover, when the participants returned to their old desks, their overall mood reverted to their formal levels.
6. It may boost a person’s productivity.
Some people are hesitant to use standing desks because of some concerns about how it can affect productivity. A common concern is how it can affect common office tasks like typing. While it may take getting used to standing desks, a study which involved 60 young employees revealed that the use of standing desks had no impact on the number of characters typed per minute.
Since standing can greatly improve one’s mood and it has no negative effects on one’s daily work task, using standing desks may even boost one’s productivity.
7. It may help you live longer.
A study found that reducing sitting time to three hours per day can add two years to a person’s life expectancy. With this finding and several studies that have linked prolonged sitting to lifestyle diseases and early death, using standing desks may lower one’s risk of dying and may even prolong one’s life expectancy.
Source: Authority Nutrition