5 Hidden Health Benefits of A Standing Desk
By now, you’ve probably heard that the benefits of standing desks have long been established by scientific studies. Of course, this assumes the desk is configured appropriately to the user’s height and type of work. In addition, it is ideal that the workstation also allows for a seated position.
The list below reveals 5 hidden health benefits of standing desk:
1. Reduced risk of obesity
With the looming “worldwide obesity epidemic,” the standing desk could play a critical role in alleviating this threat that is linked to a sedentary lifestyle and the proliferation of fast-food restaurants (and processed foods).
One study conducted by Mayo Clinic involved a group of office workers that demonstrated the potential benefits of standing desks to combat the impending obesity problem.
The subjects were asked to add 1,000 calories to their daily intake without changing their exercise routine or physical activities. Some workers gained weight while others did not.
The workers who did not gain weight sat for a shorter period of time (less than 2.25 hours per day) compared to their counterparts who gained weight. This conclusion was based on data provided by sensors sewn into the employees’ undergarments to track their movements.
2. Longer life
With reduced risk of obesity and even some types of cancer (the rate of breast and colon cancers is closely linked to a sedentary lifestyle), it is safe to assume that one of the notable benefits of standing desk is the improved longevity.
A 2011 study has suggested that reducing the sitting time from six hours to three hours could add up to 2 years to your life expectancy.
3. Reduced body pain and discomfort
Prolonged sitting has been linked to lower back pain, neck strain, and rounded shoulders. In fact, some doctors prescribe a sit-and-stand workstation to employees with chronic or systemic body pain as part of a holistic approach to deal with the issue.
Yet to reap the full benefits of a standing desk, you must stretch and walk every 30-60 minutes, and realize that you must have proper posture when using this workstation (i.e., the elbows are positioned about 90 degrees angle when using a keyboard, and the monitor is at the resting eye level of the user).
Reduced body pain has also been linked to improved posture and a stronger core when using a standing desk.
Lower stress level
Recent studies show that workers using sit-and-stand desks have lower stress levels than their counterpart. This is most likely due to experiencing less pain and discomfort that is caused by prolonged sitting. They also report improved mood and energy levels.
In other words, a lower level of stress is just a side-effect of the countless health benefits standing desks have to offer.
An improved mood can be attributed to reduced discomfort and even being body-pain free. However, one Forbes contributor has pointed out that it might also be due to improved communications with co-workers.
He said that by standing, he had more chances to talk with his colleagues as they passed by since they were at the same eye level.