Sit, sit, sit. We do a lot of that these days at the office. In fact, the average office worker spends between 5 and 6 hours per day sitting. It makes us discontented and unproductive at the office, and doing that day after day has a cumulative effect on your health and contributes to obesity and back problems. In fact, sitting has become the new smoking.
Is there anything you can do?
Yes, instead of our default position being sitting, it needs to be standing. Researchers say we have to add standing, walking and pacing to our normal daily routine. You can’t sit all day and then go do a strenuous workout to cancel out your sitting—it doesn’t work that way. Standing up at a desk is a great—and easy—way to do that since you spend so much time at a desk anyway.
A standing desk adjusts up and down so that you can stand and sit throughout the day. You might have also heard them called sit-stand desks or even height-adjustable desks. These wonders of furniture are ergonomically designed to be comfortable while working and standing.
Some desks are programmable to adjust the height. Other desks move the desktop laterally so you can have your table top at different angles to adjust your work angle. Most come with built in plugs for all of your electrical needs. There are many vendors and many design and material choices like wood, plastic and more.
You can also buy simple converters to turn your regular sitting desk into a standing desk when you need it.
Standing comfortably at a desk instead of sitting is starting to show some impressive benefits:
- When you sit all day, you burn very few calories. Obesity is at epidemic proportions and it can be a particular issue for sedentary office workers. You can burn 170 more calories standing compared to the same amount of time sitting. It adds up to 1000 extra calories per week burned away.
- Related to obesity are diabetes and blood sugar levels. After a meal, your blood sugar levels increase. Standing can really lower that spike in sugar compared to sitting. If your body regulates blood sugar more evenly, you are less likely to develop diabetes.
- Standing is better for heart health. Your blood pumps more efficiently in an upright position.
- You probably already know that if you sit for long periods, you’re prone to back pain and stiffness. Standing is a more natural position for your spine, so you’re much more likely to keep everything in alignment compared to sitting. When you sit, your shoulders pull forward and create added stress on your neck (cervical region). As your head tilts forward every inch, an extra 10 pounds of pressure on your neck vertebrae. No wonder your neck is sore at the end of the day.
- Discomfort and boredom make office work unpleasant and unproductive. How well can you concentrate when you’re fighting pain and soreness? Movement also keeps you more engaged.
If you haven’t tried a standing desk, do your health a favor and try one today.