If you scoffed when you heard that sitting is the new smoking, we have some news for you! Unfortunately, a lot of research has proven that extended periods of sitting can have a detrimental effect on your health. In fact, people who sit for a long time have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s no surprise to see standing desks being used in many offices including Apple and Facebook as part of their health schemes today. If you’re worried about your health or productivity at work, consider using one yourself. Here are some benefits of standing desks that will help you make the switch:
Standing Desks Increase Productivity
In a study conducted by Texas A&M University, 74 call center employees out of 176 were provided standing desks for 6 months. The number of calls attended hourly by both the sets of employees was measured. The results showed a striking 46% increase in productivity compared to the other employees. 75% of them also reported an increase in overall comfort levels.
This improvement can be attributed to a change in the employee’s mindset as many of them felt happier about their health and experienced a more comfortable work station. It can also be explained due to the links between prolonged sitting and obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Being on your feet also makes you more alert and less prone to errors due to distractions. Thus workers who used a standing desk no doubt reduced their sedentary time and burned more calories.
Work Performance Improves With Standing Desks
Opting for standing desks were also shown to improve work performance in a study conducted at the University of Leicester. While 69 employees continued with their standard workspace, 77 were given sit-stand office desks for the period of a year. 43% of the treatment group felt that the felt more engaged at work and performed much better than usual. This can be because of the urgency to get things done while on your feet coupled with better energy levels and less neck and spinal strain. you could hypothesis standing makes you smarter!
Standing Desks Keep Energy Levels High
Employees who used a standing desk in the study conducted by the University of Leicester also reported feeling less sluggish than before and not feeling the dreaded ‘3-pm’ slump. While you may think that standing will add to your fatigue, it works quite the opposite way. Standing manages metabolic drops after meals and prevents a sudden decrease in blood sugar. Other reasons for better energy levels are better posture due to the desk and increased blood circulation as the weight keeps shifting.
Better Focus On Tasks
In an experiment conducted by a Latvian start-up to test the effects of a standing desk, most employees reported feeling more focused at work. Standing up gave them a sense of urgency, allowing them to be laser-focused on tasks that weren’t too complex. It also helped them burn restless energy.
Another positive side-effect is that when companies adopt standing conference rooms, meetings are shorter and more effective than before. Sitting during meetings invariably can cause some of us to feel lethargy and dull.
Headaches and back pain are some issues that employees commonly face. While poor eyesight, poor nutrition, and stress can be a cause, poor posture is definitely something that exacerbates the symptoms. Even with a great office chair, many of us tend to sit with our spine curved and chin forward, exerting pressure on the neck and head.
Standing desks can definitely minimize or even eliminate such headaches as they force you to adopt a better posture. A programmer who was part of a study in Latvia remarked that his headaches were cured after the adoption of this new working arrangement.
Calories Burned While Standing For 7 Hours
Replacing a few hours of sitting down with standing desks can burn more calories in the short-run and in bring long-term health benefits. An average 150-pound individual would burn 114 calories per hour which is double the number you would burn while sitting. This number may not seem significant but they add up to 798 calories lost in 7 hours.
For most of us, working full-time can leave us with less time to work out and those team lunches can slowly add on to the pounds on the scale. So, adding a standing desk to your work station in addition to a good workout and diet can definitely help you shed those pounds faster.
A Standing Desk Can Help You Lose Weight
Another benefit of a standing desk is that it helps you reach your weight loss goals faster. Statistics have shown that you will burn ⅓ more calories than you would while sitting. Standing for longer is also directly proportional to the body’s basal metabolic rate and you will find it easier to lose weight. Working while standing desk also keeps your core engaged and back muscles at ease engaged throughout the day that can aid a healthy physique.
Although you must keep in mind that just a standing desk cannot be a replacement for exercise and a healthy diet. It can be a good supplement for a healthy life at work.
If you find yourself hunched over your desk for more than 7 hours, consider speaking to your management and bringing a positive change to your office. The human body wasn’t meant to be seated all-day-long but modern workplaces can make it difficult to balance workplace success and health. But like all good things, we would advise you to work in moderation and switch often between standing and sitting. Bring change slowly whether it is by strolling every few hours, taking breaks from looking at the screen and once you feel comfortable not sitting for long, try switching to a standing desk.