The Benefits of Standing Desks
Working at a stand-up desk undoubtedly has a positive effect on posture and circulation.
But different tasks, such as reading or writing, need to be done at different heights to reap the rewards. This is why we prefer height-adjustable desks. They also encourage a better sit or stand balance, while naturally incorporating more movement into your routine.
What are the broader health benefits, and are they worth the investment?
As much as it has been debated, we’re here to establish if they’re overrated or understated.
Even though the physical and mental health benefits are interrelated, most can be traced straight back to better posture and circulation.
Physical Health Benefits
This is the key to all of the other benefits.
The idealstanding desk posture should be as comfortable as possible with your hips in line with your feet and your shoulders relaxed.
Setting your desk up at the correct height is pivotal, as a small height adjustment can have a huge impact on posture.
Your desktop should ideally be at more or less elbow height and your screen or reading materials to the top third of your visual field to avoid unnecessary stress or strain. This applies to both a sitting and standing stance.
It is, however, much easier to create awareness and take further control of your posture as we naturally have more freedom of movement.
The benefits of better posture start at the heart and ripples out to the furthest of extremities, healing and nourishing every cell and organ in our bodies while helping us to breathe better - the most life-giving and preserving action we tend to take for granted.
Standing improves blood flow, especially to our lower limbs.
But what aboutstanding desks and varicose veins?
Putting your feet up may reduce the occurrence of varicose veins, but no prolonged static position is beneficial, especially when dealing with circulatory issues.
We’re meant to move around from time to time, and doing so will unlock a host of benefits.
Better posture, and therefore breathing and circulation automatically increase energy. This leads us right into the next topic, which is probably the most debated of all.
Improved Muscle Tone
Standing requires more effort than sitting as it engages your back, core, and leg muscles, leading to a rather effortless improvement in muscle tone.
Helps to Maintain your Ideal weight
Weight gain is a direct result of taking in more calories than needed. Butcan standing desks help lose weight? In theory, yes, but reality tends to tell a slightly different tale.
Even if larger muscle groups are at work when you stand and you burn a couple of extra calories, the process of adjusting from a sitting to a standing position burns considerably more.
Standing desk exercises, however, need substantially less imagination than trying to keep in shape while sitting - even if you swap your chair for a Pilates ball.
Unfortunately, achieving your ideal body weight is a more complex lifestyle change than electric desk adjustment, and requires regular exercise and a balanced diet amongst other healthy habits.
The most beneficial effect of standing with regards to weight loss is a marginal decrease in the need for stimulants due to improved mental alertness, which in turn eliminates unnecessary snacking and promotes healthier eating habits.
A standing desk may lower your risk of weight gain, but actual weight loss is unlikely.
Lowers the Risk of Disease
Sedentary lifestyle habits and metabolic syndrome have been linked to everything from an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, to cancer.
But how does it work, anddo standing desks really help? Let's have a look at the core of cardiovascular health.
The combination of an excessive cholesterol intake and an overtaxed liver may cause fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels, especially when spending too much time sitting at your desk. This leads to an increase in the risk of heart disease or stroke.
Over time, your heart will increasingly battle to transport enough oxygen, nutrients, and hormones in the blood to wherever it’s needed in the body.
Worst case scenario, these fatty deposits can eventually break free and cause a clot to form, potentially resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
But what aboutstanding desks and blood pressure?
When our arteries become hardened or narrowed as a result of high cholesterol, the heart has to work much harder which may result in high blood pressure due to tension against arterial walls.
As much as your blood pressure changes throughout the day, prolonged high blood pressure is a definite warning sign for cardiovascular health.
Since standing desks improve posture and circulation, they may help if you struggle with hypertension.
Studies have also shown that standing has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels, decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Even though standing may help blood sugar levels to return to normal faster after eating, we definitely recommend that you have a seat while you eat.
Natural Pain Relief
More movement undoubtedly lessens aches and pains as a result of stagnant energy. This is especially relevant to chronic neck, shoulder, back, and even wrist pain, which has all been reduced within four weeks of shifting to a standing desk.
Is a standing desk better for your back? Yes. We are more prone to damaging the disks in our spines when sitting, especially incorrectly, for prolonged periods.
Are standing desks good for lower back pain? Absolutely. Standing at your desk causes much less pressure on your lower back than sitting.
What aboutstanding desks and neck pain? A stiff neck is most often caused by trying to adjust to your reading material, instead of adjusting it to your correct posture for a more positive outlook. Therefore, an adjustable standing desk may be the ideal solution.
Whether one can really add years to your life with a standing desk is an article on its own, but there is definitely room to improve the quality of our life by using a height-adjustable desk.
Mental Health Benefits
When we are physically comfortable, we have more freedom to focus on the task at hand.
On the other side of the spectrum, the added physical flexibility of working at an adjustable desk forces you to slow some mental processes down and in turn alleviate stress and frustration.
How can this be useful? Let’s use ADHD as an example.
Standing desks for students with ADHD seems to be a mighty fine fit, as it encourages positive energy expenditure in the form of physical movement.
Happy Hormones and Healthy Habits
Increased energy enhances mood, which lessens the risk of depression and anxiety associated with sedentary lifestyle habits.
Self-esteem has long been linked to posture, and a standing desk may be a way to tackle the day from a more positive stance of self.
Apart from a reduction in physical stress by using a sit-to-stand desk, we also produce less cortisol, the stress hormone, as a result of balanced desk habits.
Therefore a shift in altitude may indeed lead to a shift in attitude, which in turn makes healthier choices a habit instead of a hop, skip or jump over them.
Happy workers tend to be harder workers, and increased productivity leads to job satisfaction, spiralling out to any desk we choose to work from.
Productivity and Creativity
The choice of being able to sit or stand undoubtedly increases the quality and quantity of active desk time.
Mental alertness over an increased attention span leads the way to improved performance and productivity.
Thinking on your feet is also a better way of grounding creative ideas while improving circulation, the necessary momentum for manifestation, from the soles up.
As much as we cannot alter the cycle of life, we can positively shift the ups and downs of working at a desk to our benefit by choosing a height-adjustable desk.
Here are just a few of the benefits that height adjustable desks can add to your life:
- BBC & University of Chester
- Business Insider
- Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:
- Portable Standing Desk
- Corner Sit Stand Desk
- Standing Desk Ergonomics
- Standing Desk Posture
- Is A Standing Desk Better For Your Back
- How Long Should You Stand At A Standing Desk
- Is A Standing Desk Better For You Than Sitting
- Can Standing Desks Help Lose Weight
- Are Standing Desks Good For Lower Back Pain
- Standing Desk Exercises
- Standing Desks And ADHD
- Standing Desks And Blood Pressure
- Standing Desks Varicose Veins
- Is Standing Desk Bad For Knees
- Is It Bad To Use A Standing Desk All Day