Are you the poor soul at your office still sitting on your rear end as you watch everyone around you transition to standing desks? Is it because you’re unsure of the benefits of standing desks and it just looks like a lot of work more than anything? Don’t worry. We’ve been there. It took me, one of the co-founders of CubeFit, a while to come around and drink the standing desk Koolaid too.
If you’re still in the “not convinced boat” let me share some facts and stats with you about the benefits of standing desks that might change your mind.
Using a height-adjustable standing desk at work can not only improve your health but improve your mood and productivity as well. People who consistently use standing desks – and are able to push past the initial discomfort of changing up their routine – see the following benefits:
Some people use switching between sitting and standing to manage their time and keep them on track. They work on a task while they stand and once it’s finished they take a break and sit for a bit. This strategy increases your focus and also helps you compartmentalize tasks – kind of like the Pomodoro method. If you know that a break is coming and you’ll transition to sitting you’ll be more likely to stay focused instead of multi-tasking and flipping between random tasks.
Less Risk of Disease
This second one is a no brainer and one of the most compelling benefits of standing desks. “Prolonged sitting has been linked with many health risks, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s not too surprising that standing workers exemplified better health habits, including decreased sedentary time and physical discomfort, as well as higher steps and burned calories” says a recent Washington Post article. Standing at work decreases your risk for so many cardiovascular diseases, obesity, back pain and more.
More Feel Good Vibes
The Washington Post also reported: “More significant than the statistical evidence in productivity was the change in outlook, Benden said. Researchers noticed a difference in the workers’ “comfort, attitude about work and how they felt about themselves.”
When you can stay active during the day – like by standing up occasionally and using a standing desk mat while you work – it keeps your blood flowing and breaks up your routine which leads to increased happiness.
Better Muscle Balance and Health
When I was working a desk job and trying to fit in marathon training around my work days I learned a sad truth: exercising during your off hours won’t and can’t compensate for your sedentary hours during the day. At that point I hadn’t yet realized the benefits of standing desks. As I sat for 8-9 hours a way my muscles were slowly tightening and weakening leading to incredibly tight hip flexors and weak glutes that ended up leading to a 1+ long knee injury that prevented me from walking even 500 feet without pain. If I had been more aware of the detrimental effects of sitting all day I might have been able to prevent my injury through using a standing desk, standing desk mat and taking more frequent exercise breaks at work.
Burn More Calories and Lose Weight
Are you going to torch calories by standing instead of sitting? While standing at work alone help you drop pounds? I’m afraid not. But if you believe in the power of the Compound Effect you know that every little decision and habit counts and makes a difference. The general consensus is that you can burn an additional 50 calories an hour by standing instead of sitting. Lifehacker even claims that standing during weekdays is like running 10 marathons a year! Will someone attempt both for a compare/contrast and let us know what happens?
Standing at work is NOT a silver bullet for all of your weight loss, health, happiness and productivity issues. It does however present a very beneficial alternative to sitting all day – which none of us are intended to do anyways as human beings! What other benefits have you experienced from using a standing desk at work or incorporating more activity into your work day? We’d love to hear from you!