Much the same way dormant vehicles can get stiff at their hinges over the winter, our bodies need movement. The average American sits for around 13 hours a day, not including sleeping hours (can you believe it?!) This means that for 21 hours a day sometimes, they're immobile and at the mercy of gravity and under stimulation. Prolonged sitting is the perfect storm for chronic pain, serious health issues, and unproductivity. So, what's the solution? Adjustable standing desks are becoming more and more popular to increase activity throughout the working day!
The advantages of standing desks are endless. However daunting the idea may be at first, the ergonomic payoffs are well worth the habit adjustment. Let's look at some of the most rewarding benefits of standing while working!
1. Work Moral
Okay, so maybe this one is more of an advantage for your employer, but we all take pride in a job well done. Feeling active and energetic is rejuvenating, and standing can increase motivation and interest in tasks and others.
According to a new study published by the British Medical Journal, office workers who replaced their seating with vertical desks reported better overall work performance. Their sense of concentration and problem-solving improved significantly. Who doesn't want to be sharp on their feet? Additionally, a call center study found significant and gradual improvement of over 50% increase in productivity in a 6 month period after implementation of standing desks.
Elevated Collaborative Participation
Beyond this, workers also feel more inclined to confer with others standing in open spaces nearby and to keep ideas rolling. Energy levels get a boost from standing and circulation gets ideas and creativity flowing. People who are already on their feet tend to feel more action-oriented, especially when in a power stance. This widely debated psychology's power may be attributed to energy or sheer placebo effect but either way it has a way of inducing confidence and openness. It also presents as welcoming body language to others to comfortably exchange back.
Innovations embracing this ready-to-roll positioning now include twin standing desks and standing conference tables, to inspire collaborative workspaces. Collaborative workspaces mean more success at work, for you and your employer.
2. Decreased Pain from Bad Posture
Ergonomically, standing is likely going to cause less physical damage over time. With desks and monitors adjusted to the correct height, neck strain and back slumping can be eliminated from daily cell memory.
Standing desk benefits also include a pain-free day. Most office and desk workers know the struggle of back, neck, and shoulder pain; the weekly visits to the chiropractor, the massages, the baths… all for some temporary relief. A Stanford University study found that workers who used sit-stand/stand stations reported reduced back pain after 3 months of using the equipment. Overall they thought less about pain throughout the day. The height adjustable desks stretched out the compiled weight towering over their lower backs until they no longer experienced chronic spinal pain or pressure.
3. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Amongst many leading causes of cancers, an astonishing amount include prolonged sitting as a contributing factor in their onset. Researchers estimate a whopping 43,000 cases of colon cancer, and a dizzying 49,000 cases of breast cancer are set in motion at least partly due to lack of physical activity. Following not far behind is 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. Yikes.
Having a standing workstation benefits every part of the human body. It also encourages movement. Since the momentum of being up is already in motion, it's easier for people to take the small step towards movement. This could be weight shifting, swaying, and short walks. Restlessness and minor motion can be extremely beneficial to healthy organs and function.
4. Improves General Disposition and Vigor
Contrary to the initial assumed annoyance of standing all day, people tend to report actually being much happier and productive overall in a vertical setting. Everything new takes some getting used to but the benefits from sit-stand workstation set-ups speak for themselves after a short period of time. A study by PubMed suggests that standing for a few hours a day improves energy levels in overweight workers, increases engagement, and reduces sleepiness and stress.
5. Improves Cardiovascular Health and Weight Regulation
In case the advocacy thus far hasn't been enough to convince you on how standing desks help with every aspect of holistic well-being, let's dive deeper.
36% of people in America are dangerously obese. That's an epidemic, and a morbid one at that. Standing and moving more can significantly reduce weight gain, and circulation flow leads to increased calorie burning action. With everything circulating, the metabolism springs into action and leads to quicker digestion of food and lowered cholesterol levels, therefore reducing obesity.
Inactivity puts you at high risk of heart attack and cardiovascular diseases – this is just the ugly truth. The World Health Organization urges proactive behaviors against obesity and coronary heart disease in the form of standing and movement. Increased circulation is less likely to result in clotting or blockage.
Blood Sugar and Diabetes
A comprehensive study by Occupational & Environmental Medicine presented an attenuated blood glucose excursion by 43% in those who stood for a few hours at work instead of sat statically. This is one of the leading studies to draw a link between standing work and a decreased risk of cardiometabolic diseases.
When a diabetic's blood sugar returns to normal quickly, they are less likely to experience dangerous symptoms. Sitting for extended periods after a meal has been linked to a greater risk of type 2 Diabetes, therefore resuming some vertical movement is likely to help in harm reduction overall.
As you can see, there's a vast set of benefits of standing while working. It also seems that the more people start seeing these benefits, the more likely they are to choose standing as their preferred working state. Who can blame them?
From the points listed, it’s clear that frequent activity throughout your day is a necessity for a healthy lifestyle and mindset. If you are someone who works at a desk for most of your day, a standing desk is a great enabler of movement, and an extremely ergonomic solution! Taking short walks and stretching often are also great additions to your day, and something we highly encourage.
If you have any queries about the topics in this article, or want to learn more about ergonomic standing desks – contact us!