If you work in an office and spend most of your time bent over a desk, clicking away at a computer, you must take steps – literally – to reduce your sedentary habits. Because our bodies are designed to move, sitting for long periods is harmful to our health.
Moving around keeps your blood flowing, which helps with concentration and focus, making you more productive. It also can improve your blood flow, which means better digestion and immune function, so standing improves your overall health in other ways!
What do studies have to say about standing at your desk?
The best thing that people love about standing desks is that they may also help you lose weight and avoid gaining them as well. For example, standing desk proponents point to studies demonstrating that blood sugar levels return to normal faster after a meal on days when a person spends more time standing.
However, "not sitting" can refer to various activities such as walking, pacing, or even standing, and the health benefits of each may differ, as evidenced by a new study on energy expenditure. In addition, rigorous studies of standing workstations have yet to be conducted for most of these potential benefits.
Is standing better than sitting?
Ultimately, yes, standing at work is better than sitting. But you need to monitor how much you stand throughout the day.
Using a sit-stand desk at work can help relieve muscular pain like back and neck pain, reduce spikes in blood sugar, and improve blood circulation. It can also promote healthy habits like taking breaks for movement when sitting too long.
Standing doesn't do much to lower your risk of heart disease, and standing for too long can harm your health. However, if you find the right balance between standing and sitting throughout the day, using an adjustable standing desk at work is better than just sitting.
What are the known benefits of standing while working?
It reduces stress
Not only is standing good for your heart, but it's also great for your brain too! Standing can improve your mood and reduce stress levels by increasing endorphin production in the brain. It can also revitalize creativity and productivity at work by improving blood circulation in the body and giving you a boost of energy to get through the day.
Better for your productivity
If you're not convinced that standing up more is good for your health, consider its effects on productivity. Then, the next time you feel like you're in a lull, try standing up and seeing if it makes things easier!
A study found that people who used standing desks reported significantly less fatigue and discomfort than their seated counterparts (yes, they had less musculoskeletal pain too).
Researchers also learned that the participants were more alert and found their assignments less complex when they were standing. So even if sitting doesn't make your mind wander as much as it does for me, standing is likely to help you get more done.
Standing burns more calories than sitting, but the calorie difference between standing and sitting isn't significant even if you remain still. Standing burns approximately 100-200 calories per hour, whereas sitting burns 60-130 calories per hour. However, it might pile up over time.
Standing at work also helps you burn calories by changing your thinking. Standing up increases your chances of staying in "health mode." You'll be walking around more throughout the day. You could perform some leg lifts, squats, or jumping jacks as a quick break. These minor changes in exercise allow you to burn more calories during your workday.
Provides an energy boost
According to a review of 53 research published in Applied Ergonomics, having a standing desk promoted workers to spend more time on their feet. Researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that standing for an hour throughout the workday increased productivity by 66 percent and invigorated workers by 87 percent. The findings were so beneficial that they launched the Smart Work and Life program to encourage office workers to be more active.
Small motions and energetic moments help you stay awake and alert throughout the day. You feel more involved when you literally "think on your feet," you feel more involved. Standing for a few minutes will help you regain some of your energy and excitement if you're feeling lethargic during the workday.
Using a standing desk with suitable ergonomics can help you maintain a healthy computer posture. Your monitor should be roughly 20 inches from your face with a 20-degree tilt, and your arms should be bent at 100-degree angles at your sides. Wrists should be comfortably positioned above the keyboard, shifting weight between legs.
Standing consistently will make the ideal posture position second nature, and it will not impose the compression on your spine that sitting can. Sitting for extended periods can strain your back and discs, causing back, shoulder, and neck pain.
It alleviates back pain
Back pain, like bad posture, back pain may appear to be caused by sitting, but it is not something you must live with or accept as a part of your job. You will most likely alleviate your minor back discomfort if you use a comfortable chair with back and lumbar support and alternate with standing times.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 8 out of every ten people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. If some minor posture adjustments do not worsen your discomfort, it may be time to contact one of our orthopaedic experts to assess if you require further treatment.
Aids in Wrist Position
If you've ever sat with a laptop on your lap and typed, you've noticed your wrists begin to fall and "rest" on the keyboard. Wrist strain and pain might result from this. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a pinched nerve in the wrist, may cause increased discomfort when the wrists are held incorrectly (however, contrary to common opinion, there is no link between keyboard use and CTS).
It's essential to be aware of your wrist position and the strain on your body when working. When using a standing workstation, you can keep your arms pleasantly bent at a 90-100-degree angle. This is a more ergonomic stance that may potentially increase your typing speed!
When we look back at human evolution, we see that our bodies were designed to move. We enhance our leg muscles, balance, and core strength when standing. We also keep blood clots in the legs from developing. When people sit for an extended period (such as on a plane), their blood may slow and pool in their legs. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in a blood clot.
How can you get used to it?
If you're used to sitting all day, it might be a bit of a shock for your body and mind to stand for hours at a time. Consider starting small, then gradually increasing the amount of time you spend standing. For example, try standing up for 10 minutes at first, then work your way up to 30 minutes or 45 minutes.
Another approach is to set a timer on your phone or computer to remind yourself to stand up every hour. Once you've been doing that for a while, you can adjust the interval or increase the length of time until you get used to being on your feet more often throughout the day. By making these small yet effective changes, you'll feel healthier and happier in no time!
You can do it at home too!
You don't have to only use a standing desk at work. Maybe it's easier for you to set up a strong base of good posture habits at home first with The Harmoni Desk!
Our Harmoni Desk transforms every desk into a standing desk. Crafted from strong and sturdy birch plywood, with a light colour and smooth finish, the Harmoni desk in Standard Birch, our original model, is a great choice for anyone looking to start standing at work.
Each desk comes with two shelves (one smaller laptop shelf and one larger keyboard shelf) as standard. You can easily move the shelves whichever you prefer. Check out our very own standing desk which you can take with you anywhere you want here.
If you decide to stand more, it may be perfect for your health and well-being. Standing up can increase your lifespan; regular standing increases your heart rate and burns calories, two critical factors in increasing longevity. Even standing for a few minutes can improve circulation and muscle tone. The small changes that come with standing more often will benefit you greatly.
The benefits of standing more aren't just about the actual standing. It's also about moving around more and changing posture throughout the day, which helps to reduce the risk of long-term health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It's also about changing the way we work – and giving people a choice over how they work.