There are competing schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of standing desks at the workplace. On the one hand, Google and Facebook claim these types of desks help increase wellness and energy levels at their offices. On the other, too much standing could cause muscle fatigue and tiredness. Check out seven prevalent health benefits to standing for longer periods of time at the office.
1. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Spending more time at standing desks can lower blood sugar levels, which is especially important for Type 2 diabetics. Standing helps blood sugar levels return to normal faster after eating compared to sitting. That process, in turn, helps regulate energy production, enhances metabolism and produces optimal hormone levels.
2. Lowers Weight Gain and Risk of Obesity
Six hours of standing burns an extra 54 calories per day, according to Mayo Clinic. That is the same number of calories as walking for seven minutes. Over the span of 12 months, those 54 calories per day equal to 5.5 pounds of weight gain every year due to sitting. Standing desks could easily help you keep 5 pounds off your body if you stand more at work.
3. Reduces Back Problems and Pain
Sitting down too much can cause back pain, especially if you do so for eight hours or more per day. Sitting for long periods may lead to 90 percent more pressure on your back versus standing. Harvard Medical School claims that standing at work could lower the risk of shoulder and back pain in healthy people. Standing improves your posture, reduces slouching and minimizes stiffness in your back.
4. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
One study examined bus drivers who sit all day at their jobs versus conductors on buses who mostly stand. The drivers were twice as likely to develop heart problems compared to the conductors. Standing desks help improve blood flow throughout your body, which can also reduce cardiovascular difficulties.
5. Optimizes Productivity
Workers who stand at the office type, read and understand concepts just as fast and effectively as people who sit. Standing could significantly increase productivity in employees, notes a 2018 study from Texas A&M University.
6. Increases Energy Levels
Standing desks might increase your energy levels at work, particularly since the brain processes energy more efficiently when you are up and active. People who stand experience fewer symptoms of stress and fatigue, while standing up also increases HDL (good) cholesterol in the body. Less fatigue and better cholesterol levels lead to more energy to get you through the day, and you might feel less sleepy, as well.
7. Longer Life
Overall, people who spend less time sitting are at a lower risk of serious diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. People who have these diseases generally have shorter lives versus people who don't. Standing at work, in addition to all of these aforementioned health benefits, could extend your life after you retire.
The advantages of standing desks are numerous, so you might investigate which type of desk is right for you or your team. Consider standing for short periods at first before gradually working up to standing for longer time frames. What other tactics do you use to stay healthy when you sit at a desk all day? Let us know below.
Photo courtesy of Keye and Jennifer at Flickr.com