#1 STEP-BY STep Guide to great posture Here's an introductory step by step guide on how to get the most out of your standing desk from day one. if you haven't got a standing desk, then simply skip to the sitting section for a guide to great posture while sitting. To...
Are Standing Desks Good for YOU?
Every potential user of a standing desk wants to know if it will really make any difference to their day-to-day life, and how effective they are in doing what they say they do. In this health guide, we explain all by covering the following:
Problems caused by sedentary occupation
How standing desks are good for you
What the experts say
A multitude of people in the UK, Europe and America now spend upwards of 7-8 hours per day seated at a desk, or in other sedentary occupation – this commonly increases to 10 hours or more as we age and as we get settled into more routine work. This is hardly surprising when you think about most of our day-to-day lives and routines, such as being sat at our desks and being sat in the car. The negative factor in this, is that the human body is not designed to be static or sedentary. Extended periods of both sitting and standing have a huge negative impact on our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The Problems CAused By Sedentary Working
Problems caused by lack of movement (or a sedentary existence) include:
- Neck strain
- Muscle wasting/degeneration
- Osteoporosis (weakening and deterioration of the bones)
- Herniated discs
- Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Higher risk of obesity through lowered metabolism
How STanding DEsks are good for you
The implementation of standing desks into your workspace really is one of the healthiest choices you could make when wishing to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. The facility to switch between sitting and standing has a positive effect on all the above points, and reduces the physical stress that your body goes through daily.
Standing desks naturally keep you more active, reduce lethargy – therefore will improve your productivity and focus, and the change alone stimulates creative energy.
What The Experts Say
“Get up and move as often as possible”
London Spine Clinic
“The best option, rather than a fixed standing desk, is an adjustable desk that can slide up and down to your preferred height, letting you switch between sitting and standing as you like, giving you access to a wide range of postures throughout your day and allowing you to take a break when standing becomes tiring.”
David Wynne BSc (Physio) MSc, (Sports and Exercise Medicine) MCSP, MHCP
“In addition to [improving] the bottom line of the company, standing during the day can improve worker health. Nearly 75 % of those working at [standing] workstations experienced decreased body discomfort after using these [standing] desks for the six-month duration of the study.”
Texas A&M Health
“Sedentary behaviour — put simply, too much sitting, as a distinct concept from too little exercise — is a novel determinant of cardiovascular risk”
Prof. David Dunstan – Head – Physical Activity Laboratory at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne
The use of standing desks has been scientifically proven to enhance your productivity, concentration and increase your creativity. The reason for this, is whilst your standing some of the body’s largest muscles are working, so this increases blood inflow into the brain. Consequently, it improves the way we feel which then improves the way we work. Studies have also found that standing desks have the capability to increase productivity by 10-20%.
As well as becoming more productive, users of standing desks will experience much improved health and better quality of life than those who sit for longer.
It is generally recognised that office workers spend an average of 65 to 75 percent of their working hours sitting down (with some reporting to be well over 90%), the majority of this takes place in long sessions, with users only getting up for drinks or comfort breaks. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that compared with those who sit the least, those who sit the most are more than double as likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorder and have a 13 percent and 17 percent respectively increased chance of developing a cancerous condition or premature mortality.
Standing up to work uses more muscle function in the body than sitting to work, so it won’t be news to you that users of a standing desk are likely to experience a higher metabolic rate than those using a conventional desk setup. This means that standing desk users burn more calories by definition! Standing uses around 13 per cent more energy over the course of an eight-hour day, says Professorr David Dunstan, Head of the Physical Activity Laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. This means that standing for four hours, would burn the equivalent number of calories to what you would burn by undertaking a 45-minute walk!
However, standing desks aren’t just all about the long-term benefits, as they’re also extremely advantageous in the short term for the body. Standing more will have an almost immediate effect in helping avert an adverse and sometimes dangerous build-up of sugars and fats in your bloodstream, and as a result, those who have invested in a standing desk and use the desk as they should, will have better energy levels and improved concentration levels.
People who are new to standing up for longer periods may undergo some differences in musculoskeletal sensations and sometimes increases tiredness, as the body still needs to acclimatise to its new way of working. These are recognised side-effects, and aren’t to be worried about as they are just down to the body adapting a new and improved routine/
However, we would strongly recommend that a new standing desk user should take a little time out if the discomfort or pain doesn’t subside after altering posture or going on a walk. It is important to understand that months or years of bad posture will take some time to iron out, so don’t be put off if it doesn’t feel right to start with – this is totally normal and expected.
Further medical advice should be sought if there is any ongoing pain, as it would suggest that there is more at play than a straightforward musculoskeletal condition. Standing desks will not adversely affect any pre-existing condition, and in their own rights will only contribute positively to a users’ mental and physical wellness.