What Research Says About Standing Desks
Standing desks are relatively new, but with the many benefits they’re known for, some workers are already turning away from their seats. Others are wondering whether or not the switch is worth it. Sitting is often comfortable, after all, and the thought of standing all day is exhausting.
Fortunately, you don’t have to. As long as you spend some of your time standing, you’ll still receive the benefits that standing desks boast.
Ahead, we’ll take a look at the research behind standing desks and why studies prove the benefits.
What is a Standing Desk?
Standing desks are just what their name suggests: desks that allow you to stand while you’re working. Instead of sitting all day, you can stand up and comfortably type, call, and do other work from a healthier position.
Most of the standing desks are adjustable, which means you don’t have to stay standing all of the time. Sitting isn’t inherently bad for you, but sitting all day can be a detriment to your health (more on this ahead).
Standing desks are a relatively new trend, but they’re catching on. Here’s what research has to say about standing desk benefits.
Sitting All Day is Bad for Your Health
Certain standing desk benefits are still under consideration, but this one has been known for a long time. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with higher risks of heart disease, mortality, and hospitalisation in adults.
What’s more, sitting at a desk all day can cause the same amount of harm whether or not you’re physically active. This means that going to the gym after work isn’t fixing the problem.
As long as you’re sitting for the bulk of your day, you’re putting yourself at risk.
Sitting all day is also closely linked with obesity. We’re constantly burning calories as we move around and exercise. The more we’re moving, shifting, and changing posture, the more calories we burn.
This could be the reason that a recent study has shown that standing-based office activity can cause you to burn more calories and lose weight.
Everyone wants to take a seat now and then – and that’s fine. The problem arises when you’re sitting down all day and barely moving at all.
Reducing Back Pain
Back pain is a massive side effect of the modern Australian work day. As we’ve covered, we weren’t meant to be sitting and staring at a computer all day long.
Several studies have tried to address this problem, and they all revealed the same results: people need to stand more often.
One study took a look at back pain and fatigue levels in overweight and obese workers. They found that both of these significantly dropped when employees started to break up their sitting time with a change in posture every 30 minutes.
Another study focused on those who reported lower back pain and had them transfer to a sit-stand workstation. Over the three month study, many of the employees reported a significant reduction in lower back pain through the new system.
Those who suffer from upper back and neck pain can find relief through a standing desk as well. A third study reduced sitting by 224%, and the subjects reported a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain.
While reducing sitting by 224% might seem like a lot, it isn’t as much as you might think. The participants in the third study only stood for 66 minutes out of every day. If standing for a little over an hour in total can reduce back pain, we think it’s worth it.
Increasing Mood and Reducing Fatigue
Although the focus of the above studies was more focused on back pain, that wasn’t the only benefit they found. A couple of other standing desk benefits include improved mood and decreased fatigue.
Sitting all day makes you tired and irritable. A lot of people hit a wall in the mid-afternoon and find it difficult to keep their eyes open.
Standing up will give you the boost of energy you need to keep working. The result is an increase in productivity, so managers should be pushing for standing desks in their offices.
Is a Standing Desk For You?
As you can see, there are multiple health and lifestyle benefits of using a standing desk. Whether or not you think purchasing a standing desk is worth it is your decision.
As time goes on, the standing desk benefits become further backed by research. Scientists are studying how we can improve our daily office life, and adding standing desks might be part of the solution.
Consider that we’ve only been in an office setting for a fraction of human history. Our bodies are used to moving, and when they don’t move, they begin to deteriorate.
You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Look at some of the research we’ve linked in this article and decide for yourself!