Standing Office Desks -Are They All They’re Cracked Up To Be?
You’ve heard the warnings: “sitting will kill you.”
Studies have connected being sedentary for prolonged periods of time with everything from increased risk of breast and colon cancer (make sure you aren’t ignoring these cancer symptoms) to obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and neck pain. That’s bad news for the millions of Americans with a desk job.
The good news? There might be an antidote: the standing desk.
According to Harvard Medical School, standing desks allow you to burn slightly more calories than you would if you were sitting while you work, and they can also reduce the risk of shoulder and back pain. Another perk: They may help blood sugar levels return to normal more quickly after eating (which keeps energy levels up, regulates hormones, and promotes good metabolism) and could potentially counteract all the detriments of lengthy sitting listed above (more research is needed to say anything definitively). And, one study by researchers at Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health found that standing desks improve productivity. There’s also a good possibility you’ll actually move more in general throughout the day, beyond the confines of a cubicle.
“Workers are more likely to walk around and interact with each other when they’re already standing,” Phillips says.
Benefits of a Standing Workstation
- Less Obesity Risk
To really experience optimal health, sedentary workers must actually walk around more. But a standing desk is a start (and standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting anyway).
- Reduced Cancer Risk
Breast cancer and colon cancer are the ones that appear most related to lack of physical activity. There is not a definitive answer as to why sitting appears to cause these types of cancer, but it’s possible that increases in C-reactive protein, found in people who sit for long periods of time, is the culprit.
- Longer life
It makes sense that mortality may rise since sitting too much is related to cancer, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Consider the findings from this 2011 study: Americans increase their life expectancy two years by reducing sitting time from the standard six hours to just three hours per day, instead.
- Better Posture
If you want to improve your posture and reduce eye strain, a standing desk is a smart option. It’s important to set it up the right way, though. Your computer screen should sit just above resting eye level, so you have to look up slightly to see it. This keeps you from hunching over or slouching as you tap away on your keyboard. The simple act of standing will also improve your core strength, leading to better overall posture.
Things to Consider Before Using a Standing Office Desk
Start slow – Don’t try to go from six hours of sitting to zero overnight. As mentioned earlier, aim to sit just three of your waking hours each day. So start with just 20 minutes at a time at your standing desk, then add on time as you get used to the setup. Standing doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but when your body is used to sitting most of the day, you will strain your body by standing too much, too fast.
Use a mat – Take it easy on your knees, hips, and ankles by using a gel mat where you plan to stand. Take it a step further and wear non-slip, supportive shoes, too.
Get your work done – If standing is too distracting, use your sitting times when you need that extra concentration. You may find the standing desk a little distracting at first, but you’ll likely adjust and learn to refocus with time.
Set it up right – Your computer screen should sit 15 to 30 inches from your eyes, with your eye level even with (or slightly below) your screen. Keep your wrists flat and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. If you feel like any part of your body is straining while you are standing then you need to make adjustments to make it more comfortable.
Move, too – Standing does burn more calories than sitting, but to really see optimal health benefits make sure you are walking throughout the workday, too. The American Heart Association suggests 10,000 steps per day at a minimum. Buy a pedometer or a fitness tracker and add in steps where you see fit during the day. Look for creative ways to do other exercises during the workday, too, that stretch your muscles and keep your circulation and metabolism going.
While we DO NOT stock standing office furniture at Ixaxa, we do offer high-end ergonomic and health-promoting, high quality office furniture. Click here to get in touch with us for advice and pricing today!
h/t to huffingtonpsot.com for the great info!