6 Health Benefits Of Standing Desks

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - updated December 7th, 2023
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Feeling tight and achey from sitting all day? Or do you find yourself feeling a bit bloated after lunch and worried you will snooze away if you sit down? It sounds like you need a height adjustable desk! Overcome all of those productivity and post-lunch hurdles by simply transforming the way you work and boom - your steps are up and your productivity gets a second wind!

Okay all jokes aside, there are many non-lunch related benefits that come with standing desks too. Using a standing desk on a daily basis can have some great health benefits that will improve your work lifestyle and can help to reduce ongoing health risks by fostering more movement throughout the day, helping counteract the normal sedentary office lifestyle.

Height adjustable standing desks provide you with the ease of alternating between sitting and standing positions whenever you want. Perhaps you want to sit in the mornings and stand in the afternoons to plow through any potential slumps. With a push of a button, most standing desks can transform within seconds. Additionally, you're typically offered multiple height options making sure you get the appropriate deks height, whether you're tall or short, or sitting or standing.

Let's take a look at some more benefits a standing desk offers!

1. May Lower Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

Standing desks can be instrumental in weight management and preventing obesity. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health estimated that a person weighing about 65kgs would burn an additional 54 calories each day by standing instead of sitting. Over a year, this could represent a saving of nearly 20,000 calories—approximately 2.5 kgs of body fat. A separate study led by Dr. John Buckley and a team of researchers from the University of Chester stated that over the course of a year, standing for three hours every workday is like running over 10 marathons - no intensive training required! So you can skip the gym by just raising your desk... kidding (though not entirely). Although these studies suggest that swapping sitting with standing at work offers great potential to burn more calories and support weight management, other forms of physical activity and balanced diet is highly recommended.

2. May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

The widespread belief that more time spent sitting increases heart disease risk has been backed by numerous studies. It's been said that adults who spend two or more hours per day sitting have an increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks. This is because prolonged sedentary periods limit the body's ability to break down fats and sugars, leading to their accumulation in the bloodstream. This can result in various health complications like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol imbalance; all are significant risk factors for heart disease. In severe cases, the risk of heart disease can surge by up to 147% due to prolonged sitting. So get off your butt and help your heart!

3. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

If you didn’t know already, after eating a meal your blood sugar levels take a spike upwards and can negatively impact your health if you spend the whole afternoon sitting afterwards. Over time, this can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In contrast, standing or engaging in light activity after a meal can help to regular your blood sugar levels. In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. Both groups took the same amount of steps, indicating that the smaller spike was due to standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.

4. Reduce Back Pain and Improve Posture

Back pain is one of the most common complaints from office workers who sit all day; however, it can easily be countered with a height-adjustable standing desk. A prominent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that using a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just four weeks. Additionally, removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a two-week period. The use of such desks promotes a more upright posture, which reduces the strain on the neck and back caused by slouching while sitting. Also, by constantly engaging core muscles, standing desks encourage better overall spinal alignment. This in turn boosts both overall posture and reduces the occurrence of back pain. To derive maximum benefits, it's advised to alternate between periods of sitting and standing, ensuring good ergonomics in both positions.

5. Improve Mood and Energy Levels

Standing desks can positively influence overall well-being, including mood and energy levels. Standing promotes increased blood circulation, improving oxygen flow to the brain and muscles, which can lead to heightened alertness and energy. According to a seven-week study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire work day. 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day. By incorporating standing into their daily work routine, individuals may not only counteract the negative health impacts of prolonged sitting, but also experience a boost in their overall energy levels.

6. Boosts Productivity

These health benefits also lead to other benefits such as improved productivity! Standing can increase alertness and concentration by promoting blood flow and oxygenation that the brain requires to maintain focus. A study published in the journal "IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors" in 2016, involving call center workers over a period of six months, found that workers using standing desks were 45% more productive on a daily basis compared to their seated counterparts. It's suggested that this increased activity leads to heightened alertness, which in turn leads to improved cognitive function and productivity. However, it's also important to strike a balance by taking regular breaks and switching between sitting and standing to avoid fatigue.

There are a host of ergonomic work solutions that can positively impact our health and productivity, including height adjustable desks, monitor mounts, standing workstations and much more. We talk about these in our article '5 Ways to Improve Your Workstation Ergonomics'. In this article, we include standing desk recommendations and more, so be sure to check that out if you need some suggestions! Otherwise, head over to our furniture department to check out our entire range of Height Adjustable Desks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you stand at a standing desk?

It's generally recommended to start with 15-20 minute periods of standing and gradually increase it as your strength and stamina improve. The goal should be to sit less and move more throughout the day. Experts propose a sit-stand ratio of 2:1 to 3:1; for example, for every 2-3 hours you sit, you should stand for 1 hour. However, individual comfort levels should dictate the exact durations. Always ensure you maintain good posture while standing to maximise the benefits. Notice your legs getting tired and your posture reflecting that? Switch back to sitting. 

Is standing for eight hours bad?

Yes, it is not recommended for you to stand for long periods as this can have its own issues. These can include fatigue, leg cramps, and backaches. Moreover, prolonged and frequent standing (without movement) can cause blood to pool in the legs and feet. Over time, this may lead to conditions such as varicose veins and inflammation, amongst other things. Additionally, the heart has to work against gravity to keep blood flowing up from the toes and legs which can have an impact on the cardiovascular system. The ideal approach is a balance of sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day.

Are standing desks better for your back?

Yes, a standing desk can be better for your back if used correctly. When you stand up, your spine maintains its natural S-shaped curvature, reducing the risk of back pain. Standing encourages better posture by aligning your back, neck, and shoulders, which decreases the strain often associated with prolonged sitting. However, it's important to alternate standing with sitting and moving about to prevent fatigue and ensure maximum benefits. Remember that proper ergonomics while standing are also crucial—such as proper desk and monitor height to prevent hunching or craning your neck.

Is it better to work standing or sitting?

Neither standing nor sitting all day is ideal. The best approach is a combination of sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day. Too much sitting can lead to obesity and related health problems, as well as back and neck pain. On the other hand, prolonged standing can result in muscle fatigue and discomfort. Alternating between sitting and standing work, incorporating short breaks to move or stretch, is often the most beneficial and ergonomically sound approach towards work.

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Staff Writer

For the words, not the glory!

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Thank You! So much for a great blog and best of luck for the future

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