10 Sit Stand Desk Health Benefits
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10 Sit Stand Desk Health Benefits
Sit Stand Desk Health Benefits: 10 Reasons to Make the Switch
Posted on: June 15th, 2016
Sit stands desks have been steadily growing in popularity, thanks in large part to research about how sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to your overall health.

Bearing this in mind, a trend started in the modern workplace of using standing desks to try and increase the health of individuals. With information readily available from places such as University of Western Australia and others, more and more employers are looking to better the lives of their employees and even themselves using standing workstations.

The article states that the studies they looked at were not designed well without many participants, making it hard to draw a proper conclusion. The specific intervention of using a sit-stand desk did show that it decreased sitting at work from between a half hour to two hours a day.

One of the most important details with the new article is that it doesn't look at the effects of sitting for long periods of time, which is the absolute main reason for utilising a standing desk. There are far more studies that are related to these effects that include large sample pools, with one 2013 study of 63,048 Australian men aged 45-64 showing an increase in chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease when sitting for more than 4 hours a day.

Whilst there may not be a lot of information specifically regarding standing workstation use related to health, we know for a fact that a sedentary lifestyle, including sitting for long periods of time, does not bode well for long term health.

With this in mind, we've created a list of 10 ways that sit stand desks offer health benefits over sitting at your desk for the majority of your work day.

1. Increase Energy Levels

Getting your blood flowing will help increase your endorphins as well, a naturally occurring hormone that is released during physical activity. It's why you can feel good after exercise or running, the so-called "runner's high".

While just standing at your desk won't be that big of an increase, this addition will help you become more alert and awake during the day. That 2:30 yawn you typically get every day doesn't have to be treated by more coffee: stand up, have some water and you'll be feeling more energetic to finish the day.

2. Better Mood & Workday Interactions

With increased energy levels and endorphins, your work day might become a little more pleasant thanks to a general better mood. Some studies showed that employees had less stress after they started sitting less at work, with another study showing a positive association with a decrease in anxiety with sitting time decreasing over the course of a day. If you are feeling better overall, you're more likely to have better interactions with co-workers and let the little things that come up during the course of a work day affect you less!

3. Tackle Productivity

Some people have reported an increase in productivity when using these styles of workstations, and it makes sense. Getting up and walking around gets your blood moving and helps you think better. If you've ever gotten a little tired and jumped up and down to try and wake yourself up, you are attempting to increase blood flow which helps increase awareness.

As mentioned, your increased endorphins help your body to be more alert. You can also switch between sitting or standing postures if you feel stuck in a rut just for a slightly different perspective and feel. Worried about your typing or reading being affected? Cognitively there is little to no difference with performing these tasks whether you are sitting or standing.

4. Relieve Back Pain & Improve Posture

As you sit for long periods of time, you tend to adjust your position when uncomfortable, which leads to slouching. Sitting improperly in your chair will lead to a number of issues, including a strained neck as you have to crane your head forward to see better, and sore shoulders and neck as your slump forward due to your sitting position. Sitting for long periods of time also leads to herniated disks and even an inflexible spine as moving around lets the disks between your spine expand and contract to obtain blood & important nutrients. Standing during the day will naturally improve your core muscles & stabilisers, which help strengthen your back.

5. Battle Weight Gain

It's pretty easy to understand that you use more muscles standing then sitting. You won't be burning as much fat as when you even walk to the water cooler, but building up your core and other stabilising muscles help you stay in better shape.

It's been shown that people that are obese sit longer during the day than people who are more lean. In fact, a study conducted by the BBC & University of Chester, it was found that standing can help you keep off or lose around 3.6kg per year when standing for 3 or more hours a day for your standard 5 day work week!

6. Stave Off Chronic Disease

There are a number of chronic diseases that can occur with a sedentary lifestyle, that standing more during your day can help alleviate. High blood pressure and heart disease are linked to long sitting times, with fatty acids clogging the heart.

When your muscles are idle, your pancreas needs to produce more insulin as idle muscles don't respond as well. An excess of insulin in your system can lead to diabetes. Multiple studies have shown that even with regular exercise, participants who sat at least 6 hours a day were more likely to have health complications.

7. Improve Blood Flow to Extremities

Sitting for long periods of time causes blood to pool in your lower limbs, which can cause a range of problems from swollen ankles to blood clots & varicose veins. This has become known to happen on flights, so much so there are specialised socks designed to improve blood flow.

Sitting at your desk all day can be similar to sitting on a long-haul flight and has the same implications. That's why using a desk that allows you to periodically work standing up makes sense; it gets your blood flowing and pumping back up towards your heart to help prevent these types of ailments.

8. Help Increase Life Expectancy

With the lower risk of chronic disease, obesity, and improved blood flow, there is evidence that your lifespan can also be increased over those who sit the majority of their day. A 2010 study from the Australian Heart & Diabetes Institute showed that with each hour increment of television viewing time (which is a sitting behavior), there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, general mortality, and even cancer. By spending more time in your day standing, you can increase your life expectancy, with an American study showing the average person who stands an additional 2 to 3 hours each day adds approximately 2 years to their lifespan!

9. Supplement Your Healthy Lifestyle

If you are already exercising, eating healthy, and getting proper rest outside of work, why not bring this outlook on life into your work routine? For the health concious, each aspect of their life can be looked to see what can be added or taken away to be most beneficial. That's why using a standing desk is great, as your pain and discomfort can be managed whilst your at work. The ability to change up your routine by both sitting and standing at your desk makes it easy to rest when you need it and change your position to stretch muscles and get blood flowing, all while still working!

10. Sit Down when Tired!

This is one of the key features of using a combination workstation over a standing only desk. As mentioned above, there are studies that show that sitting for long periods of time and standing for long periods of time is unhealthy. The best way to combat this is using a sit to stand desk that lets you change your position during the day. When you first start standing at work, your body won't be used to it and your muscles and feet might begin to ache. When this happens, you can sit down and continue working whilst building up your strength! Even after you can stand without problem, it's still a good idea to sit down and rest during the day and not stand for long periods.

There it is, your definitive list of why not sitting at work is beneficial to your health, and how sit stand desks help you achieve the balance necessary to have an even more enjoyable work day. In addition to bettering your health by alternating sitting and standing at your desk, there are other easy ways to get more movement into your work life:

  • Move the printer or use one further away from your desk is simple.
  • Go to a colleague's cubicle or desk instead of calling or e-mailing gets you moving and will be easier as well, as if you're already standing that's one less layer of resistance.
  • Drinking water is great for health in general, and makes you leave your area to fill your cup and also to relieve yourself.
  • Using a height adjustable desk alone isn't going to make rapid changes to your life, but combined with healthy eating, regular exercise and rest, all these factors can contribute to a long and happy life.

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