Benefits of Standing Desk every officer wish to know sooner
One of the innovations of the modern office is the standing desk. Over time, offices have changed a great deal. The earlier tradition of large offices with individual rooms for the higher echelons of workers and a common working area for the lower has transformed into a more casual environment with more equality in the workplace. In part this is due to the increasing use of computers or screens to carry out most tasks. In part, it is due to greater equality and openness in the workplace.
Modern offices are often open planned. These offices have either individual desks or common workstation platforms at a particular height. With these platforms come easily to move chairs, sometimes with back or lumbar support. To an extent, these have been largely successful as office spaces shrink and the closed office door is more of a rarity even among top bosses.
Newer offices encourage greater movement and foster a more casual interaction as this has been shown to increase productivity and improve health.
Standing desk – what’s that?
A standing desk (also called a sit stand desk) is taking the workplace by storm. It enables you to stand while working, so the height of the desk has to be higher to enable you to comfortably use the computer and do your work while standing.
While a normal height desk can be ‘made’ into a higher workspace by placing your laptop or screen on a board, a box, a carton or even a stack of books, this is not a long-term solution, though it is great as a try-out. The standing desk seems all set to revolutionize many workplaces that have adopted this modern method.
A video example about Standing desk:
The height adjustable desk
It may not be possible to do all work while standing. The solution is the height adjustable desk that makes things easier. This can be simple or a modern push button kind. Using this kind of desk, you can alternate between sitting and standing when working, depending on your situation and the kind of work you do.
A height adjustable desk encourages greater movement and can be a simple mounting or an adjustable platform on your existing desk or can be desk/platform that can move upwards and downwards.
But why have a standing desk anyway?
Simply put, sitting is dangerous to health. In fact, some experts have likened it to smoking since it is unhealthy and shortens the life span. Sitting is sedentary and most people spend 6-8 hours in an office simply sitting and working. And living a largely sedentary life is detrimental to health. Early scientific research suggests that being more physically active, including standing at the wrokplace, offers innumerable health benefits. In fact, reducing the time spent sitting can help you improve your fitness levels.
Sitting constantly can be detrimental to health and even contribute to weight gain, along with host of problems that obesity can give rise to.
Standing desk can help reduce weight
Obesity is not good for physical, mental and emotional health. Over weight can lead to problems like
- Decreased mobility
- Sugar spikes and even diabetes
- Cardiovascular problems including greater risk of stroke and heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Arthritis, rheumatism or other joint disorders
- Certain cancers
- Breathing problems
- Sleeping disorders
Obesity alone may not be responsible for any of these, but it certainly increases the risk of these diseases. Of course, just by using a standing desk you will not lose all the weight you need to – you also should follow a diet and exercise plan. However, if you are already at your ideal weight, using a standing desk can prevent the usual yearly weight gain.
Besides obesity may cause psychological problems as well since it can lead to lower self esteem, lack of confidence and a poor body image.
Standing desk and cancer
Sitting for long periods can increase the risk of endometrial, ovarian, colon and breast cancers. In fact, the American Cancer Society holds that sitting increases the risk of developing certain cancers in men and women. If you think about, you are sitting during your office commute, in the office, at home while eating and watching television when you lead a largely sedentary lifestyle.
While modern medicine has made great advances in the treatment and management of cancer, you really ought to try and minimize your risk factors, including sitting less.
Standing and diabetes
Standing increases metabolism and helps reduce the risk of diabetes. If diabetes is pre-existing, standing reduces sugar spikes, common after meals, resulting in better insulin management. Using a standing desk can also improve blood cholesterol levels, reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
Both diabetes and unbalanced cholesterol levels are known factors in increased cardiovascular disease.
Standing desk improves back and neck pain
If you are prone to back pain and neck pain due to sitting for long periods, there is good news. Often muscles cramp or get compressed when they are in one position for long. Using a standing desk can help reduce these.
A recent study shows that alternating between standing and sitting during working hours offers significant benefits in reducing back and neck pain.
Standing desk improves productivity
It is much easier to move when you are standing than sitting. The use of a standing desk can improve muscle health, increase blood flow and enables the brain to get more oxygen. Often sitting for long periods and slumped can lead to muscle weakness or cramps, resulting in compressed discs and increased discomfort and even pain. Standing increases mental focus and helps boosts productivity.
If you get more work done optimally, it has a positive effect on your productivity and your self-esteem, too.
Standing enhances mental and psychological well being
When standing you are more alert instead of relaxed. Post meal blues and boredom may make you sluggish and you may even doze off when sitting, but not when standing. Standing improves your brain function and keeps you mentally and psychologically on your toes.
It becomes easier to move around when standing as you are on your feet already. And a greater movement is physically beneficial in many ways.
Standing desk and longevity
According to a research study, if Americans were to sit for 3 hours less a day, then their life expectancy would rise by 2 years. In fact, sitting a great deal leads to early death as statistical evidence says.
Since standing longer has a positive health effect, in any case, the risk of various life-threatening disease also decreases, your quality of life improves and you live longer as well, with better health.
Different kinds of standing desks
Thanks to the growing market, there is now a wide variety of standing desks available. In case you are in the decision-making process for your office then you should check out the different models of standing desks available. If you are only buying for yourself then use something to try out the standing position while working before buying.
Among the different kinds of standing desks are the fixed models, the adjustable models (manual or electric) and the desk risers that you can place on your existing desk to increase the height. Each has its pros and cons and you can buy one according to your requirements and budget.
A newer variation is the treadmill desk. This allows you to walk on the treadmill while working. While it is more conducive to weight loss and better physical fitness, using a treadmill desk does require a great deal of space and can be expensive.
Research studies on the benefits of standing desk
One study titled Stand@Work conducted by The Heart Foundation in collaboration with the Prevention Research Collaboration (PRC) of the University of Sydney confirmed that people who sat less and moved more were healthier. Using a standing desk in the workplace and alternating sitting and standing during the workday is a great alternative.
A study funded by The American Society of Interior Designers Foundation’s (ASIDF) Transform Grant showed that by and large people were happier using the standing desk. Dr. Elizabeth Garland, one of the researchers associated with the study, said, “This study found adjustable workstations beneficial in reducing sedentary behavior both in and outside of the workplace. In addition, these behavioral changes were sustained over time and were associated with more energy, less muscle pain, and more awareness of standing posture. When considering total worker health, employers would be smart to include options for adjustable workstations.”
Another study showed that using a sit stand desk and alternating between sitting and standing, not only improved health but also reduced upper back and neck pain and improved the mood of the workers.
One study regarding the effects of using a standing desk on workers’ productivity published in the IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors showed that using a standing desk or an adjustable work stations improved productivity in workers.
How exactly does standing benefit health?
Whether or not you need to lose weight, the greater movement is always good for health. Since constantly sitting is detrimental to health and can lead to poor posture, slouching, neck and back pain, reduction in metabolism and more, you should aim to stand and move more.
Some of the benefits of standing – and you can avail of them by using a standing desk – are
- Increased heart rate helps in greater fat burning and improves metabolism.
- More movement increases oxygenation in the brain and increases focus and mental alertness.
- Muscle tone improves.
- Standing can enhance mood and reduce fatigue.
- Standing more can improve the body’s response to sugar spikes and regulate glucose levels in the blood more effectively.
- When you stand for long periods you can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
When you know that standing is a healthier option, you should cut down on your sitting time. And since the workplace is probably the place where you spend the most time sitting, start from there.
Are there times when you should not use a standing desk?
If your health does not permit it, if you have mobility issues or are easily fatigued for physical reasons, you may want to skip using a standing desk. Varicose veins and leg cramps can be possible if you are standing for long periods of time.
At the same time, you can minimize fatigue caused by standing by ensuring that the desk is at the right height for you so that you do not suffer neck or back strain. Using a mat under your feet will also be of help. Make sure that you are using the right footwear that supports your feet and does not cause foot pain.
Using a standing desk requires a shift in attitudes and a change in habits
When you have been habituated to sitting while in school, in college and in the workplace, there is no doubt that the habits of a lifetime have to be changed. This requires a shift in attitude as well and when you use a standing desk you have to perhaps relearn how to use the computer for a long time while standing, use a keyboard and do other work as well.
But the trade-offs are so good – you can lose weight, improve your metabolism, bring increased productivity to your work, experience a more positive mood and sense of well being, prevent muscle cramps and pain – that you should adopt using a standing desk at the workplace.
In the beginning, it is best to stand for some time till you can stand for at least two hours without feeling the strain. You can work your way upwards. It is also a good idea to alternate between sitting and standing. You should also try and move more in the workplace. Once you try it out and reap the benefits, you may think again before sitting to work.
See more about standing benefit health at BBC TV