Is standing desk just a fad? Alternatively, it does have real benefits for our health? This might the question that pops up in your mind whenever you think about standing desks.
Well, the fact is, people are now more sedentary than ever, and that’s the most worrisome thing about health.
This is evident enough, right from the time we wake up till the time we hit the sack, we’re sitting all the time—in our cars stuck in traffic, in our office staring at our screens and even after work, binge-watching Netflix.
All these factors have lead up to the increasing cases of “lifestyle diseases.” Lifestyle diseases can range from heart ailments to diabetes, from obesity to back pain, and even sometimes cancers.
Although the best part is, you can change your lifestyle and can reduce all such fatal health risks.
How Standing Desks Are Better For Your Health
A standing desk, which is also called a sit-stand desk, is a desk that can be adjusted to allow you to work while standing.
In fact, an adjustable standing desk converter, which happens to be the recent innovation in office ergonomics space, takes this a step further. With a desktop standing desk converter you don’t need to replace your desk; just put place the converter on your table and adjust the level of your workstation by raising it or lowering it down, enabling you to sit or stand to work.
Well, to your astonishment, standing desks are not a fad of today; they were used all through history by quite a lot of famous people to improve their productivity and focus. Today, they are gaining popularity as the health benefits of a sit-stand desk converter can help reduce the risks of lifestyle diseases.
Here are the 5 science-backed health benefits of standing desks:
1. Standing reduces the risk of heart disease
Standing more and sitting less lowers a couple of essential things such as blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and weight, which in turn reduce the risk of developing a heart ailment.
In the 1950s Britishers researched and compared the incidence of heart attacks of bus conductors (who stand all day) to the bus drivers (who sit all day). The research found that the drivers were 42% more likely to diagnose with heart disease as compared to the conductors.
In a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology in the United States which sampled over 100,000 adults found people who sat for 6 hours or more a day died earlier than those who sat for 3 hours or less. The other significant finding of the study said the time spent sitting was independently associated with the death rate, which had nothing to do with the levels of the physical activity.
To make it more transparent even if you work out in the morning, it is not enough to have a healthy body; in fact, being physically active throughout your day is equally important.
2. Standing lowers your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
As mentioned earlier in the blog sitting for too long increases blood sugar and insulin levels in your blood, which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
In a study published in Diabetologia found that people who were more sedentary had higher chances of developing Type 2 diabetes as compared to those who were more active. One extra hour of sedentary time was associated with a 22% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and a 39% increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
Dodging the risk of Type 2 Diabetes is very much possible. Even short breaks can help you reduce your risk of developing this lifestyle disease.
Another recent study of 2018 tracked the activity of people who wore accelerometers. The study found that irrespective of the total time people spent exercising or sitting, they who moved more frequently had lower blood glucose levels as compared to the people who sat for prolonged periods.
Conclusively we can say that people who are at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes spend much time while sitting.
3. A standing desk could reduce your risk of musculoskeletal problems.
If you randomly ask a room full of people if they suffer from a back or neck pain, there’s a good chance, 80% of them would confess.
With the long hours of desk jobs, most of us complain of back pain; unsurprisingly, it has become one of the most common problems amongst office workers.
This is where an ergonomically designed electric standing desk converter comes in handy.
A study in Australia compared the fatigue levels of the workers who used a stand-up desk converter every 30 minutes versus those who were seated only. It found that the sit-stand desk users experienced a significant reduction of 31.8% in their lower back pain and a 22% reduction in overall tiredness.
If you can correlate this with your condition, it’s time to speak with your doctor or physiotherapist to understand if a standing desk could help you with your musculoskeletal problems.
4. Standing more reduces the risk of obesity
Now here’s something you can tell your mom – fidgeting, shaking your foot and an inability to sit still, could actually make you leaner and healthier. Yeah, that’s true!
James A Levin an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic began investigative research on why people fall prey to obesity? For this, he recruited a group of workers who engaged in some routine exercise while following a particular diet. Despite the standardized diet and exercise, some participants gained weight, and some didn’t.
Dr Levine’s study found that obese people tend to fidget much less as compared to the leaner people, which results in spending at least 2 hours more each day sitting physically idle. A fact that might astonish you is, fidgeting alone is enough to burn 350 extra calories per day, which adds up to an awe-inspiring weight loss of 4 to 13 kg per year!
Standing desks are a great way to inculcate low-grade physical activity into your workday as standing naturally would move you more. Being on your feet will make it a lot more likely that you will pace and fidget more.
5. Standing may reduce your risk of cancer
Prolonged sitting could increase your risk of certain types of cancer.
A study carried out by the National Cancer Institute, and the Centre for Disease Control found that nearly a hundred thousand cases of breast and colon cancer are linked to inactivity.
However, the underlying reason for such an increase in the cases of cancer is unclear but, the scientists found a higher number of C-reactive proteins which is a type of biomark in people who sat for a longer duration. It is the biggest thing that can be tied to the development of cancer.
Dr Neville Owen of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute puts it-
“Sitting time is emerging as a strong candidate for being a cancer risk factor in its own right. It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk. This phenomenon isn’t dependent on body weight or how much exercise people do.”
It is no wonder that sitting is considered “the new smoking,” although, on the flip side, it is not difficult to avoid the sitting disease – just stand up now and walk around the room. However, making it a long term habit could be a little tricky, but, do you know where the secret lies? It is with Altizen standing desks that not only promote health but also seems good for the work performance without posing any threat to your routine.