Many scientific studies suggest that the longer we sit, the more damage we do to our bodies. One of the most disappointing findings of these studies is that a few trips to the gym doesn’t make up for the negative effects of sitting. You’ve probably heard that using a standing desk has health benefits, but did you know that keeping your heart healthy is one of them?
The Mayo Clinic indicates that those who sit for four hours a day or more increase the risk of a cardiovascular event like chest pain or heart attack by about 125 percent. And the Center for Disease Control says that one in every four deaths in the United States is related to heart disease. They estimate that adds up to about 610,000 people every year.
Everybody Needs to Move More
When you’re sitting, you’re usually fairly still—it’s that lack of movement that causes problems over time. Sitting impedes proper circulation and can also lead to reduced mobility, flexibility, and even muscle loss. When you consider that office workers sit for most of their 8-hour workday, then sit in a car, bus, or train for a commute—and then sit even more in the evenings while browsing the internet or watching television, that adds up to a lot of sedentary hours each day.
Those are some seriously convincing reasons to rise up and get moving! Most of us don’t get enough exercise during the day, and physical activity is key to helping keep your heart healthy. One way you can start incorporating more movement into your day is by using an electric standing desk. With an electric sit/stand desk, you won’t have to lift or crank to adjust the height of the desk surface, and you’ll be able to use the same desk while you’re sitting or standing.
What exactly is an electric height adjustable desk? Let’s look at seven of the most popular options.
1. Electric adjustment. An electric adjustable desk is much easier to raise and lower than hydraulic or hand-crank models. You just press the up or down button to change the height of the desk. Electric standing desks also raise and lower more smoothly than manual options.
2. Memory preset options.
Some electric standing desks have the option for a control panel that has memory presets that work a bit like the ones on your car radio. You move the desk to the height that’s right for you, and program a preset button for that height. When you want to adjust the desk’s height, you press the preset button you configured, and the desk automatically adjusts to that position.
3. Dual motors. An electric adjustable desk with a single motor are usually noisier and slower than those with a motor in each leg. Single motor adjustable desks may also have a lower weight limit. Opt for a model with two motors for quieter, smoother movement.
4. Anti-collision feature. When an adjustable height desk is in motion, it could collide with objects in its path, like windowsills, cabinets, or other furniture. Consider an electric standing desk with an anti-collision feature that will halt the desk’s movement if it senses something in its way. This can be especially important if you have children or pets that can come into your workspace.
5. Crossbar. A crossbar that connects the legs toward the middle of the desk frame provides optimal stability. Since you’re likely to adjust your desk height several times a day, you don’t want to worry about items on your desk wobbling or shaking.
6. Desktop surface options. Most standing desk sellers offer a variety of options for the desktop’s surface, but not all of them are eco-friendly—especially the laminate options. Laminate is typically made using fiber board fused together with melamine resin, which is a compound made with formaldehyde. If you don’t want to choose such an artificial desktop option, go for a natural surface made from bamboo or reclaimed wood instead.
7. Add-ons. A standing desk becomes even more useful when you opt for some of the handy extras some sellers offer. These can include under-desk keyboard trays, locking casters, grommets or other cable management options, drawers, PC holders, and more.
Ease into Increased Movement
You don’t have to try to stand up while you work all day; instead, try switching between sitting and standing while working. Use your electric standing desk to slowly begin increasing the time you spend standing while working to increase your standing time. Splitting your day into half sitting and half standing is a good goal, but that doesn’t mean you have to stand for 4 hours before you can sit for 4 hours. Once you’ve reached the half and half goal, you can switch between standing and sitting as often as you need to.
You’re sure to work more movement into your day when you work at an electric sit/stand desk—some people notice that they’re more likely to walk around more if they’re already standing. That definitely adds up to more movement throughout the day. By increasing your physical activity, you might even find that your blood pressure or cholesterol levels become lower.