10 Advantages of Using a Standing Desk
Sitting for long periods isn’t good for our health, but many jobs require us to be desk-bound. The solution? An adjustable desk, or ‘standing desk’, will bring more freedom and movement into your day.
Here are ten reasons to switch from a sitting desk to a standing desk.
You're likely to live longer
As much as 7% of mortality for those aged 45 and over can be attributed to sitting. Although there are many ways to be more active at work, such as standing when you talk on the phone, having ‘walking meetings’, or taking frequent breaks between tasks to walk around the office, installing an adjustable desk is one of the simplest and least disruptive ways to incorporate more movement into your day.
Standing desks could boost your mood
Users of standing desks report an increase in energy and improvement in mood when using them, and studies show that on returning to the standard sitting desk, they feel increasingly lethargic and restless. Why is this? It’s thought that an adjustable desk promotes greater movement, encouraging people to take short, frequent breaks, walk around, process their thoughts, and chat to colleagues.
The sit/stand combo can reduce your risk of obesity
Properly used, a standing desk can have some real health benefits, and can keep your weight in check. Switching back and forth between sitting and standing keeps you moving, increases the calories you burn, improves your posture, and could lower your risk of heart disease, reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes and increase levels of good cholesterol.
You’ll strengthen your core
It’s much harder to get away with slouching when you’re standing up at your desk. If your standing desk is at the correct height, with your keyboard at elbow height and your screen slightly below eye level, it’s much easier to stack your spine in a straight line with its natural curve intact. Then you’ll naturally be using your core muscles to hold yourself upright.
As posture improves, back pain decreases
Changing from a sitting to a standing working posture around every 30 minutes could have significant benefits for those who experience back pain and discomfort when sitting. Standing desks have been shown to significantly reduce back pain in long-term sufferers and the overweight.
It could be better for your eyes
We can stare at our screens for hours without blinking, which can be very bad for our eyes, but a standing desk discourages this behaviour. We should be looking away from our screens about every 20 minutes, and getting up from our desk, moving around and relocating every so often means we can rest our eyes for a second, literally refocusing, reducing the risk of eye strain.
You may be more productive
After you’ve gotten your head around working at your standing desk, you’ll find yourself breaking up your daily tasks differently. Much like agile ‘stand-up’ style meetings can streamline a meeting into a focused and productive dialogue, a standing desk lends itself to breaking up tasks into chunks, and discourages ‘time-wasting’ activities such as browsing the web. Just make sure you pay attention to how your body feels as you stand for extended periods.
Improved communication at work
When coworkers pass by your desk and you’re standing, it’s easy for them to stop and chat with you. If you want more frequent engagement with your colleagues, this is one of the unexpected benefits of using an active desk; you may even find your email and meeting frequency decreasing.
It could decrease your risk of cancer
Prolonged periods of sitting have been linked to increased risk of certain kinds of cancer, and regular exercise is linked to decreased risk. Switching between sitting and standing is an easy way to get more movement into your day, and to lower your cancer risk.
It’s easier to move on to the next task, literally
If you often find yourself ‘stuck’ at your desk for hours on end without being particularly productive, a standing desk may be a good solution. Standing up to work can force you to prioritise tasks, setting clear timeframes for each section. You may stand for half an hour and get some ideas together for a brief, grab a drink, come back, sit and flesh out your notes for a couple of hours.
It’s important to ease into using your standing desk and to keep things flexible, sitting when you need to, standing when you need to and getting up and walking around as needed. Do what works for you and you’ll get the most out of it.
Feature Image Credit: Mastermaq.