In the past couple of years, not a day goes by without coming across an article on how too much sitting can be hazardous to your health. This is particularly of great concern, taking into account how many Australians have a sedentary lifestyle. All that thanks in great part to their office jobs and sitting for hours upon hours.
The bad news is, sitting for too long may be the cause for increased risk of colon and breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes and back pain. The good news? There’s a solution to this matter – the stand desk.
Standing desks promote more movement during the workday. Standing for just half an hour at a time (about 4 hours a day or more) while working, can have a major impact on your health and body. Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy by using a stand desk at work.
Reduced Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most frequent complaints among office workers who sit all day. The thing is, our bodies weren’t made to sit for prolonged periods of time. Our bodies were made to move. Furthermore, the static posture a chair places on your body increases stress in the back, shoulders and neck. A study, showed that participants who spend an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing, experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain.
Lower Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Standing, instead of sitting, can help reduce the risk of weight gain by burning about 50 extra calories an hour. If a person stands for 3 hours each workday, they would spend about 750 calories a week. Over the course of a year, that would be equal to about 30,000 extra calories.
More Energy and Improved Mood
Increased sedentary time has been linked to an increased risk of both anxiety and depression. This leads us to conclude that standing improves mood and increases happiness. In a 7-week study, participants using standing desks reported less fatigue and stress than those who remained seated the entire workday. Furthermore, 87% of the participants using standing desks reported increased vigour and energy throughout the day.
Improved Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels
A study performed by the University of Queensland, Australia reported that standing an extra two hours a day versus sitting is associated with about 2% lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11% lower average triglycerides in the blood. That extra couple of hours standing were also attributed to lower bad cholesterol and higher good HDL cholesterol.
Going from sitting for long hours straight to standing all day can be taxing on your back if you don’t give your body time to adjust. Start by standing for 30 minutes a few times a day and then increase that time over the course of several weeks. Eventually, you will be able to stand for as long as you want.