You may ask yourself, “What’s with this current trend of standing desks?” Surprisingly, it’s not just for aesthetic value. There’s more to these than just modern workplace style. Scientists have been researching standing desks in comparison to traditional ones, and the results have been rather positive upon the human body. Desks that are both stylish and beneficial to your health? It may seem hard to believe, but the results have proven otherwise. Below are some health benefits associated with standing desks:
1. They reduce the risk of obesity. A study was conducted upon a group of office workers to see which ones would gain weight and which ones wouldn’t. Their calorie intake was increased and they were all placed upon the same diet. The ones who didn’t gain weight were the ones who moved consistently throughout the day. For example, they chose to take the stairs over the elevator, and they got up from their chairs and walked down the hall to an employee’s office rather than sending them an email. The result? Those who get up and move during the day are at less of a risk of gaining weight. With standing desks, you move more since you’re not sedentary and you have the ability to burn more calories (a 2013 study showed those who stand burn 50 more calories per hour).
2. They decrease your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has unfortunately been connected to the inability of your body to regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream. This is known as metabolic syndrome and can ultimately cause Type 2 Diabetes. In a 2008 study, scientists discovered that those who sat more during their day had much higher levels of blood glucose than those who moved around.
3. They reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Prolonged sitting and cardiovascular disease has gone hand in hand since the 1950s when researchers found that when comparing bus drivers and bus conductors, the drivers (aka the ones who sit all day) were the ones to experience more heart attacks and heart problems. According to research, those who spend their days sitting down have an outstanding 125% increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
4. They reduce the risk of cancer. While this may seem hard to believe, scientists discovered that breast cancer and colon cancer are related to the amount of physical activity one has in their life. According to a study conducted in 2011, extensive sitting/sedentary habits could have led to as many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer. These same researchers felt certain that 37,200 cases of lung cancer, 30,600 cases of prostate cancer, 12,000 cases of endometrial cancer, and 1,800 cases of ovarian cancer could also be linked back to extended periods of sitting/inactivity. Biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein, are higher in those who sit rather than move around during the day. These biomarkers are suspected of activating cancer cells.
5. You could actually live longer. This makes sense, considering movement during the day decreases your chances of so many negative health issues. Sure, a healthy diet and exercise can help. But ultimately, moving consistently during the day is key. Don’t overdo it, however, and expect to stand during your entire work day. Split time between sitting and standing so you don’t develop issues with your back, knees, or feet. There are desks that can be raised, some even come with a taller chair for when you need to take a break and sit for a few minutes. Of course, the best way to practice standing more throughout your day is by taking baby steps – stand for a few hours at first, changing your position instead of deadlocking. Your body will eventually adjust and get used to it. If it means better health and an even better you, it’s worth the shot of trying!