Would you say that you sit too much during the day? Unfortunately, very few people are able to get enough exercise during the day. This is because most jobs require that you sit in front of a desk for long hours and stare at a computer. Sitting for too long can have serious negative consequence for your health, which is why many people have started using standing desks in their workplace. Even though these desks are still seen as oddity by many, they offer great health benefits you should take into account if you’re thinking of getting one.
The definition of standing desks
Unlike a typical desk you use to keep your laptop on and/or do your paperwork on, a standing desk allows you to do the same while standing up. You will not have to use an office chair nor will you have to worry about adjusting the height of your desk so that you don’t have to crane your neck while looking at your monitor. Unlike before, modern versions of standing desks are fully adjustable which means that you can sit or stand as necessary. This is the best option since standing for long periods of time can be as tiring as sitting down can be harmful for your health. What is more, standing up while working has a number of excellent health benefits, including helping you lose weight, but more on that later.
You won’t be putting on as much weight
Everybody knows that nothing makes you gain weight better than inactivity and eating wrong foods. Of course, when in an office, you can’t do your work while using a treadmill, as much as you’d like to do it. Sedentary lifestyle will have you accumulating calories and you will find it difficult to bun them later. What is more, long hours in the office leave us craving activity, but often leave us without energy to do so. By standing up in your office, you will be burning more calories than you would normally do sitting down, so feel free to use this to your advantage. Occasional relaxing strides around the office and a brisk walk on your lunch break will help you stay in shape (or even help you lose some weight).
Keep your heart healthy
Unfortunately, heart disease is one of the biggest health risks of modern times. When you add stressful work environment to the mix, you end up with a dangerous cocktail that can give you a weak heart. What is more, sitting down for a long time has such a lasting harmful effect that even hitting the gym after hours is not going to fix the issue. One of the ways to prevent this from happening is to use standing desks in the workplace and to spend as much time as you can standing up while working. Spending a lot of time on your feet will make your heart significantly healthier, but try adding an anti fatigue mats too. Mats such as these can help ease the discomfort of standing for long periods of time, resulting in you feeling well rested even after being on your feet.
Be more productive
One of the reasons people might hesitate to use standing desks in their workplace is because they fear these desks can hinder some regular daily tasks, i.e. typing an email. Even though typing while standing might not come naturally to some people, there is no evidence to suggest you can’t do it (or will do it badly). Standing desks will bring more dynamic to your workplace and the different perspective will help you be more focused on your work tasks. While it might not seem like that at first, standing up is an activity that burns calories. When you do it for a while, you will likely be in a better mood and more willing to tackle the difficult tasks ahead.
You won’ strain your neck
How many times did you complain to your personal trainer about neck pain or scheduled a massage to ease discomfort? You probably noticed that the pain and discomfort are more pronounced after a long day at the office. This is because prolonged sitting at the desk is most commonly going hand in hand with craning your neck in the direction of your computer. The position you end up in closely resembles “C-shape” and your posture is suffering as a result. The pain might not be as noticeable or as bad in the beginning, but after some time it will be more prominent until it leaves a lasting impact on your overall health and wellbeing. When you use a standing instead of regular desk, the harmful position is minimized.
To expand on the previous point, your posture can be quite bad after you’ve spent a long time sitting and working at a desk. Good body posture will follow the shift from sedentary to upright position, and you will be sitting and walking with a straight back without having to make conscious effort to do so. This is because standing straight will be better for your spine and your computer can rest at your eye-level so you won’t have to crane your neck or bend your back to see well.
Standing straight – the right way to do so
Even though you might be tempted to stand for the duration of your workday, it’s not a wise decision. The best way to go about our day is to start working standing up, then sit for a while, and resume standing up again after this short break. It’s important to do this a few times during the day so your body doesn’t stay in one position for too long a time. If you’re new to this, you can make your first standing session half an hour long until you get used to the feeling. When you build up some muscle, you can increase it to one hour. Ideally, you should be able to stand for two hours at a time before you take a break. Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle when your wrists are on the desk, and walk around your office every 3 minutes.
Because long periods of sitting almost always result in catastrophic health issues, it’s a good idea to look into alternatives. This is especially important if you’re currently employed by a company that’s focused on typical nine-to-five office culture. You don’t want to risk your health just because you’re used to sitting down while working. If you change your perspective and your habits and start using standing desks, your life will change for the better, and your health will improve significantly.