Are you considering getting a standing desk? You may be wondering what exactly the benefits are of standing at work, instead of sitting. Like anything, it will depend on the person. For me, getting a desk that allowed me to stand up when I needed to was one of the most important things in reducing my back pain.
So for me personally the benefits are like night and day. Somone else may not benefit as much as myself but should see an improvement in all sorts of areas. Especially if you sit 8 hours a day, then go home and sit some more to eat dinner, sit some more to watch TV, and then sit even more to get on the internet.
It isn’t uncommon for people to sit around for almost 16 hours a day. If you are considering one, here are the benefits of a standing desk.
Benefits of a Standing Desk
Can Mitigate Back Pain
As I mentioned, lower back pain with myself was greatly reduced being able to stand throughout the day. Well, I’m not the only one saying it.
For example, this study showed participants reduced back and neck pain by 54%. Other studies have shown improvements in this area as well, just not as drastic.
This and helping out back pain may just be the 2 most important benefits from standing instead of sitting. Improving circulation reduces your risk of a long line of health concerns that range from numbness in your legs to diabetes or even stroke or heart disease.
This improvement alone makes getting a standing desk worth it as it leads to an improvement in your overall health.
Standing throughout the day leads to an increase in the amount of calories you burn. Studies have varied with some showing as much as 174 more calories burned per hour than while sitting, others haven’t been quite as impressive, one even showing an increase of only 8 calories per hour.
Either way, assuming it is somewhere in between. It is clear that you burn more calories while standing than you do while sitting.
It isn’t just calories that matter in losing weight. It is also how well your body functions and controls your appetite. If your hormones aren’t working correctly then good luck losing any weight. So this goes hand in hand with the last one.
But standing at work can help keep insulin levels lower, especially if you stand right after a meal. For example, a small study of 10 people showed that standing for a few hours after lunch reduced blood sugar spike by 43%. Although a small study, they did also account for physical activity to rule out that as a factor since both groups walked the same amount of steps, meaning the independent variable was standing at their desk.
This is clearly an issue while sitting all day. It’s nearly impossible to sit with “perfect posture”, and even if we do we are still hunched over all day long. Standing up allows you to keep your body aligned correctly. Even just standing a couple hours a day instead of sitting all day long will help out.
This goes hand and hand with better posture. If you improve your posture, then can naturally improve your confidence as well. A lot of people think it is confidence first, then next comes results. In reality just getting moving, standing, and improving your posture first can change the way you feel.
Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
The fact is that inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle increases your chances at getting heart disease. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The additional movement that will account for an increase in calories burned will play a role in fighting this. The other primary factor in potentially reducing your risk of heart disease from using a standing desk is the improved circulation it can have on your body.
Lower Chance of Getting Varicose Veins and/or Hemorrhoids
You can only imagine why sitting all day long on your butt could potentially lead to hemorrhoids. Varicose veins have been linked to prolonged sitting, and this, of course, goes back to the whole circulation issue we talked about before.
May Improve Digestion
Having your body compressed all day long can slow down digestion and potentially even play a role in gas, bloating, constipation, and acid reflux. This may be another reason why studies showed positive results on standing after meals and reducing blood sugar.
Using a standing desk has been shown to improve morale while at the same time not hinder the amount of work being done. If workplace morale is improved then it is highly likely that the quality of work will also be improved.
To conclude, the benefits of standing desks could use some more study. But either way, do you really need a study to help you realize that sitting all day hunched over at your desk is a good thing?
Standing up while at work isn’t magic, it’s just the obvious response to the negatives aspects of sitting. It is also just one piece of the puzzle. Some people you may not see drastic results, as like anything else, these things tend to vary from person to person.
The fact is if you can even marginally improve your health from adding some standing time to your workday then that is enough of a reason to get a standing desk.
Very interesting post! I know a few people who use standing desks and like it a lot better, but I’ve never heard of all the benefits. Sounds like standing is great for a ton of things. I think for me, the morale is probably the most important. I don’t have a desk job, but, if I did, I definitely would want a standing desk. I hate sitting at a desk for long periods time.
Thank you for sharing!
Hi Daniel, thanks for the informative post.
I have experienced some neck and back pain lately and I started looking into methods of reducing it. Working on a standing desk looks like a beneficial option, in more than one ways! I find the raised metabolism and the better posture particularly appealing.
It goes without saying that sitting for so many hours every day has a negative impact on our health. So, even if a standing desk isn’t a magical solution, it can surely still help with all the issues you mentioned in your post, since we spend so many waking hours at work and even a marginal improvement is a plus!
I will look more into it as I keep exploring your website.
Yeah, it has helped me and countless others out quite a bit! I highly recommend getting one. 🙂