You’ve no doubt heard the buzz about how terrible sitting is for your body, and about stand up desks, but have you really considered the many benefits and possible downfalls of working on your feet? Read on for our list of the top benefits of standing desks.
Using a standing desk:
• Eases back pain caused by sitting all day
• Helps maintain focus and mental stamina
• Increases productivity
• Increases energy levels
• Improves posture
• Increases work space
• Improves digestion
The benefits will vary depending on your needs, but most people who work on a computer praise the stand-up desk for multiple reasons. One writer claimed that standing at his desk even improved his writing and verbal skills. Another woman lost 5 pounds in two weeks because standing burns more calories than sitting, and she was more likely to walk around the office. Seriously!
Let's take a closer look at some of the anecdotal evidence:
Relieves Back Pressure
Many people claimed that after 6 months or a year of using stand-up desks, they no longer had back pain. Sitting all day puts pressure on your lower back because you aren’t using your upper body or core muscles to hold you up. Instead, you let the chair do the work. This may also help maintain a healthy weight by burning more calories; the more muscles you engage throughout the day, the more calories you will burn.
If you sit at a desk all day, you may notice that you tend to slouch or hunch over at your desk. This kind of posture is common for people who feel chained to a desk all day. You may not even be aware of it. Standing engages your back muscles and your core, which can improve your posture and increase circulation.
Increases Productivity, Focus, and Energy Levels
When you’re tired, you are less productive. It’s that simple. Using a stand-up desk for at least part of the day can help you feel energized and more alert. This will help you stay focused and to be more productive. You are also more likely to take breaks and go for a quick walk or move around the office since you are already standing.
Standing also helps increase blood circulation, which has many health benefits. One of the main benefits of increased circulation is that it improves digestion. Your digestive system cannot function properly if the circulation is cut off, which can happen if you are sitting hunched over while eating. If you are the type of person who works through lunch and eats at your desk, it’s best to take a real break. But a stand-up desk is certainly a start to a healthier GI system.
Increases Work Space
Some people report that when standing at their desks, it feels as if they have more workspace. Most people tend to keep their work areas more organized if they can spread out. Some stand-up desks can be created by simply lifting the computer up with shelving so that you don’t need to buy a taller desk, and you still have the option of sitting down. This also creates more space, and the extra shelving provides an organizational tool.
There are many ways to create a stand-up desk without spending a lot of money. Before you spend two hundred dollars on a desk, do some research on cheaper ways to create a stand-up desk by working with the materials you already have.
Keep in mind that just like sitting all day, standing for 8 hours a day is not ideal.Make sure you mix it up and give yourself the option of sitting for part of the day. Here's a great guide on how to get started.
Another option? Find a modular stand up station. Your company will likely like the idea of purchasing something like this so employees can make decisions about how their bodies are most comfortable. Try the Upstanding Desk to test the waters.
Do you use a stand-up desk at work or home? Tell us about your experience in the comments.