To Stand or Not To Stand? That is the Question
To stand, or not to stand? That is the question posed by many professionals around the world. There have been arguments made for the standing desk phenomenon but is it really worth changing up your entire office structure to change your posture throughout the day? You betcha. Here’s why.
Standing Burns More Calories
It might not seem like standing is that much more challenging for your body, but studies have shown that you can actually burn more calories by standing all afternoon instead of sitting. One study showed that on average, you can burn 170 more calories every afternoon just by opting to be vertical instead of at a ninety-degree angle.
Reduced Heart Disease
It doesn’t require a lot of effort to plop down in an office chair. Over time, that lack of extra effort takes a toll on your heart. In fact, scientists found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of heart disease by 147%. That’s so harmful that even exercise before or after work has a hard time combatting the impact of extended hours in a chair.
Standing breaks up the time you’re sitting in a chair making you and your heart stronger and healthier.
Less Back Pain
One of the biggest complaints from people who sit for long periods of time is back pain. That’s because when the body is in the seated position, you’re experiencing postural stress. That added stress puts 90% more pressure on your back by sitting instead of standing, according to Cornell University’s Department of Ergonomics. Over time that stress builds up and tension increases leading to chronic pain.
To determine whether sitting was the main culprit of this back pain, the Center for Disease Control conducted a study. In it, they found that participants’ back and neck pain decreased by 54% after 4 weeks by using a sit-stand desk at work.
But Standing Isn’t Enough
The benefits are clear. Having a standup desk can improve your mental and physical health without question. But is it enough? Not quite.
Standing is still a sedentary behavior, even if it’s not as sedentary as sitting. Regardless, you’re not moving your body and activating blood flow. So, although standing is better for you, it’s not a replacement for that morning run or afternoon spin class. People aren’t designed to be in one position for an extended period of time. Remember to continue to move throughout the day, even if you are using a standing desk.