Did you know that someone with a desk job can spend more hours sitting than they do sleeping, 7-10 hours a day. The standing desk became popular about a decade ago as a way to break this sedentary pattern. How well has that solution stood up, so to speak, over time? Here we review some of the key health benefits of a standing desk.
Standing Lowers Your Obesity Risk
Sitting too much increases all sorts of health risks, including the risk of obesity, and exercise alone can’t compensate for its effects. Standing every so often while you work can burn enough extra calories to offset some of that risk. It’s true even if your job is otherwise stationary.
A More Active Workstation Improves Your Circulation
One of the bigger drawbacks of sitting too much is increased chance of cardiovascular disease because of the way chairs can interfere with your circulation. Standing and moving provide you with better circulation and more energy during the workday.
More Energy, Better Mood
One of the best-known benefits of exercise is that it provides higher energy levels and an elevated mood. This is true even if all you do is choose standing over sitting. Having more energy and being more productive makes for a better working day all around.
Other Factors to Think About
Though there are obvious benefits to a standing desk, it’s not an instant cure-all. Any office solution that radically changes your lifestyle needs an informed approach.
- Standing too much can carry its own health risks, especially if your body isn’t prepared. You may need to ease yourself into a standing-desk lifestyle.
- It’s important to ensure a standing desk is set up properly. If the ergonomics are wrong, or the required accessories like cushioning to avoid foot pain are absent, it can create problems.
- You may want to alternate between standing and sitting. If you can’t commit to seven or eight hours of standing in a day, you might try a sit-stand desk that lets you split the difference.
With those caveats in mind, standing desks are clearly still an interesting option for better office health.