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Standing vs. Sitting: The Benefits of a Stand Up Desk

Poor posture is a common thing nowadays. We’re all guilty of sitting in impossible positions in front of our computers. And factor in the fact that most of us stare at our phones at least a couple of hours a day, it’s no wonder back pain and neck pain are our most loyal companions.

If your work requires you to sit at a desk for long periods of time, you already know how your back and neck muscles feel afterwards. Prolonged sitting is high up on the bad list for things that worsen our health. It’s even considered as terrible as smoking. Musculoskeletal deformities, obesity, cardiovascular problems and diabetes are just a few of the side effects of prolonged sitting. So, how can you counter the effects of sitting? By standing more, of course!

Standing vs Sitting

To reduce the risks of sitting, you need to stand up and move more during your working hours. This will require you to be more mindful about how much time you spent on the computer. To take regular breaks from sitting, you can use some kind of app to help you.

However, sometimes our work is so demanding, that we can’t spare a few minutes for a standing break. That being said, a stand up desk can be a great change for your workplace. You can simply continue your work while also standing and moving your feet at the same time.

standing vs sitting desks

Source: forge-rx.com

When your computer is placed on a standing desk, your body is in a straight natural posture (no slouching, no shifting weight to one leg). Only ten minutes per day (if you’re a beginner) will make a good change.

Additionally, even standing too much during the day comes with its own set of risks. Standing for long periods of time can be bad for your joints and worsen issues such as varicose veins. But you can always get a stand up desk that is height adjustable and allows you to switch between sitting and standing in no time. This way, you can get the best of both worlds and give your body a break.

Let’s check out some of the benefits of standing desks.

Reduce Back Pain

About 80% of adults experience back pain in their lifetime. Office workers tend to suffer from it the most because sitting all day long puts huge pressure on the spine. Combining sitting and standing will help you move your back muscles more and taking off some of the load on your spine.

man working at his office with back pain

Source: standupdeskstore.com

Reduce the Risk of Obesity

Weight gain is a result of consuming more calories than your body can burn. It becomes a real problem when you don’t have any time to engage in physical activity and spend most of your day sitting. About half of office workers gain weight due to their sedentary lifestyle.

But when you work standing, your body can burn around 50 calories per hour. Even if it might not sound like much, at the end of the day, this is a significant amount of burned calories. Plus, you can increase this amount by moving more while you stand. Of course, you should not start standing for hours once you get your standing desk, but you can adjust your body and get used on this way of working by standing longer every day.

Improve Your Mood and Increase Your Energy

Our bodies are made for movement. And our brains know that which is why exercise is such a great mood booster. Sitting at work, sitting at home, using your car, not having any physical activity is a sure way to get yourself in a poor mood. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to anxiety and depression. By being able to stand up during your working hours, you can create a change. Your mind is no longer fed up with the same routine. Something new is happening, your old habits are changing, you are standing and working, your body moves. As a result, people who use stand desks believe they have more energy and are more productive.

girl smiling while sitting

Source: people.com

How Long Should You Work on a Stand Up Desk?

The key question is how long is enough? If you have just bought your desk, it’s best you take it easy. You cannot expect to be able to stand for an hour or two after years spent sitting for 8 hours a day.

No matter your age, don’t force yourself to stand for too long. Combine one hour of sitting with ten minutes of standing. After a couple of days or a week, extend the standing time to twenty minutes or half an hour. So, for each sitting hour, spend ten to twenty minutes standing. You’ll notice how time passes fast and you finish your work better.