The Benefits of Sit-to-Stand Desks
Sitting too much is known to be bad for your health. Frequently sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and circulatory problems. This is a major concern considering most office workers spent most of their week sitting at a desk. Fortunately, sit-to-stand desks offer a solution.
What is a Sit-to-Stand desk?
Also known as sit-stand or height adjustable desks, sit-to-stand desks are exactly what their name entails. Sit-to-stand desks are height adjustable desks that allow a person to alternate between sitting and standing while working at the desk. There are also varieties that are non-adjustable, called standing desks, allowing a person to stand up comfortably while working that also alleviate some of the risks of sitting all day.
Research surrounding sit-to-stand desks is still relatively new, but what it shows so far is that there are impressive benefits for physical health. Here are some reasons to use a sit-to-stand desk instead of sitting at a desk all day at the office:
1 – Helps burn calories and assists in weight regulation
It can be rather difficult to burn calories while sitting all day. The good news is that, while exercising is the best way to burn calories, simply standing upright instead of sitting can make a difference. In fact, standing while working has been shown to burn over 170 calories more than sitting for the same amount of time. That’s almost 1000 calories each week, simply by choosing to stand instead of sit at work. This helps reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity that many office workers struggle with.
2 – Improves blood sugar levels
The higher your blood sugar levels spike after meals, the worse it is for your health, especially if you have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. A recent study involving 10 office workers indicated that standing for 180 minutes after lunch instead of sitting reduced the blood sugar spike by 43 percent. Another study showed that office workers who alternated between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the work day had an average of 11.1 percent less blood sugar spikes.
3 – Improves heart health
The idea that standing is better for the heart than sitting has been around for many decades. Modern investigations have confirmed this in studies showing that prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147 percent. Standing at a sit-to-stand desk can help lower this risk by assisting in improving circulation and other factors that lead to a healthier heart.
4 – Improves comfort and reduces pain
One of the most obvious and immediate problems with sitting all day every day is the pain and discomfort. Ergonomic office chairs are excellent at counteracting and preventing the chronic pain that many office workers suffer after extended periods of remaining seated. If ergonomic seating isn’t having the desired effects, standing upright may be a better solution. Several studies on standing while working, or alternating between sitting and standing, have reported an improvement in lower back, upper back and neck pain between 32 and 54 percent after just a few weeks.
5 – Helps improve mood and energy levels
The benefits of sit-to-stand desks are not only physical. They appear to have a positive effect on overall well-being, including mood and energy. One study shows that office workers who worked standing up reported that they felt less stress and fatigue, as well as increased vigour and energy. This may be linked to the decreased pain and discomfort of sitting down as well.
6 – Improves productivity
With the improved physical and mental effects of standing up while working, it only follows that it is also more productive. Standing is less restricting on circulation than sitting, and better blood flow can boost energy and concentration. Additionally, without the distraction of back and neck pain, it is easier to focus on work.
Take a stand in the office
Converting to a sit-to-stand desk can improve your overall health and well-being. It may take some time getting used to the change, but the advantage of a height adjustable feature is that you can slowly start increasing your time spent standing every work day until it is comfortable and natural. It also does not affect the ability to type or perform other office tasks. Take a look at our Ergowork electric height adjustable desk or our Elevate sit-to-stand desk if you’re ready to take a stand!