For many years, people have debated the claimed benefits of standing desks. Those that favor the use of a standing desk use different scientific studies to back their claims. Opponents are not convinced that standing at work will solve all the problems of a sedentary life. The reality is that both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. So, which one is better for you? In this article, we aim at answering this question.
Most people agree that the most important piece of furniture in an office is the desk. You do all your office work on the desktop. Also, you put your computer, peripherals, books, and notebooks on it. Thus, an ample and ergonomic desk is the best choice for your home office. But why should people invest the extra money on Progressive Standing Desks or similar ones? What are their advantages? Should you get one?
Why You Should Stand Rather Than Sit While Working
To answer the above questions, one must understand what the motivation behind a standing desk is. Different scientific studies have demonstrated the health risks of sitting prolonged time during the working day. These are not claims made by a manufacturer. These are the results of unbiased medical research.
For example, in 2015, researchers followed 47 cases of office workers. Their findings were shocking. A worker sitting 8 hours a day has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This risk is twice in comparison to a worker that doesn’t sit the entire working day. Also, the risk of developing certain types of cancer and heart disease increases with sitting a long time. Other studies have linked obesity and higher levels of stress with longer time seated at work.
Moreover, productivity increases if you work while you stand. A study in the United States demonstrated that workers of a call center were much more productive when they worked on their feet. Their productivity was higher by 46% during half a year, in comparison to the previous half a year in which they worked seated. Other studies suggest that these findings can be extended to all types of office activities.
Another important benefit of a standing desk is the reduction of neck and back pain. This is one of the most common health problems for office workers. These health problems often are derived from bad sitting postures. So, if you stand, the chance of suffering from these ailments is reduced.
What Type of Standing Desk You Should Use
Thus, the main reason to use a standing desk is to improve your health and prevent life-threatening diseases. In principle, a standing desk allows you to adjust the height of the desktop so you can work comfortably while you stand. While this adjustment can be done manually, this is not practical when you have a heavy load (computer, printer, papers, and more) on your desk. That’s why actuated standing desks are preferred.
Actuated standing desks are equipped with some electromechanical devices known as lifting columns. These devices deliver controllable up-down movement. As a result, you can adjust the height of the desktop by pushing a button on the desk frame or remote control. This feature allows you to switch between sitting and standing as you deem it convenient. An electric standing desk is also capable of doing this. Many health specialists advise against standing the entire working day. Shifting positions is the best approach.
A Standing Desk Is Better Than a Regular One
As seen, if you care for your health, a standing desk is a much better alternative. Also, standing desks look modern and add a touch of sophistication to your office. Fixed standing desks are also sold. But, according to health experts, switching between sitting and standing positions is the best way to get all the benefits from both worlds. Hence, you should buy an adjustable electric standing desk.
However, even though a standing desk is better for your health, you should adopt some habits to make your working day healthier. Some actions you can do are:
- Take a short break regularly. For instance, every hour you can take a few minutes to stretch and walk around. This will help your blood to circulate throughout all your body. If you have the possibility, do some basic exercises (squats, push-ups) during the break;
- Try a walking meeting. Instead of videoconferencing or sitting at a table, you can try to discuss work issues while walking. This type of meeting allows you to do some work while exercising;
- While you sit, try doing some basic exercises too. You can stretch your back and arms while you are seated. Also, you can rotate your neck and shoulder to provide them with some relief.
Having a healthy lifestyle is possible even at work. Getting a standing desk is the first big step toward having a better working environment. So, replace your old fixed desk with a standing desk as soon as you can.