Standing desks are all the rage right now and the benefits of switching from a sitting to a standing desk are often talked about, especially in recent years, when sitting is considered the new smoking. On average, a person that has a 9 to 5 desk job ends up sitting roughly 80% of the time. So, just by making this small change every day, you can improve your health significantly. Here are all the health benefits of switching to a standing desk, according to studies.
1. Standing Desks Relieve Back Pain
A 2011 project by CDC, called “Take-a-Stand Project” found that participants who spent about 66 minutes of their workday standing experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain. Just an hour is enough to relieve the stress on your back.
If you are currently experiencing back pain and want to switch to a standing desk, you should invest in an electrical one.
2. Standing improves mood and increases energy levels
Studies have shown that sitting and increased sedentary time have been linked to an increased risk of both depression and anxiety. The same “Take-a-Stand Project” found that participants who spent about an hour standing at their desks each day felt happier and more energized. Here’s what the participants said: “87% felt more comfortable, 87% felt energized, 75% felt healthier, 71% felt more focused, 66% felt more productive, 62% felt happier, and 33% felt less stressed as a result of having the sit-stand device installed at their workstations.”
3. Working while standing increases productivity
This next benefit of standing desks will surely be to your boss’ liking. People who work standing enjoy a boost in mood and energy that increases productivity. According to one study, 66% of participants believed they felt more productive when they completed work while using their standing desks.
4. Standing increases concentration
While standing, blood is pumped around your body and to your brain, which increases your brain function. A study found that 71% of people who used standing desks felt more focused compared to sitting. When sitting for a long period of time the blood flow slows down, thus lowering your brain function.
5. Lowers the risk of heart disease
Everyone knows that a sedentary lifestyle can have a huge impact on your health. But just how bad is it? Studies conducted nearly half a century ago show that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a 90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 147% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events as compared to an active lifestyle.
6. Standing lowers the risk of weight gain
One of the most common results of sitting at your desk all day long is, of course, gaining weight. Since you are eating more calories than you are burning, the extra pounds start accumulating easily. Studies show that 44% of office workers believe they have gained weight in their present job, and 53% of those said they know it was due to sitting at a desk all day.
A standing desk can help you not only stop gaining weight but also start shedding the extra pounds. A study by the University of Chester concluded that a person burns 50 more calories per hour just by standing. So, standing just 3 hours per day at your desk means that over the course of a year you would burn 30,000 extra calories or around 8lb of fat.
7. Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Another health problem associated with a sedentary life is type 2 diabetes. A small study conducted in 2013, with 10 participants, showed that standing for 185 minutes after lunch reduced the workers’ blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting. Another study, in which 23 overweight office workers took part, showed that the blood sugar spikes could be reduced by an average of 11.1% just by alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes.
8. Lower stress level
Studies have shown that another benefit of standing desks is a much lower stress level. It’s easy to get stressed out if you spend your entire workday hunching over your workstation and grinding your teeth. Approximately ⅓ of participants in a study have said that sitting up while working has helped them deal with stress. Why? According to experts, when you stand up, you can stretch those tired muscles and shake off a bit of that fatigue and frustration. Adding some deep breathing will have an instantaneous calming effect that will help reduce your stress level even further.
9. Improves job satisfaction
Another great find of the “Take-a-Stand Project” was related to job satisfaction. After less than 2 months, participants said that they noticed they felt happier throughout the workday. The study found that standing while working releases endorphins, giving you a natural high. While you don’t get as many endorphins as you would get by practicing extreme sports, standing will give you a small enough rush to boost morale.
10. Increases creativity
As we said earlier, standing up will get the blood pumping and flowing through your brain and all that increased blood flow means you’ll be able to get your synapses firing, thus coming up with creative ideas. Many companies found that meetings and brainstorming sessions held while standing has generated more creative ideas.