If you haven’t heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking,” then you may not realize that the latest research indicates that sitting can cause a variety of health problems. These can include obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes and cancer. What’s worse, studies indicate that just going to the gym isn’t enough to counteract the negative effects of remaining sedentary for hours at a time.
The increasing popularity of standing desks means there are a lot of choices on the market today. You’ll want to consider several models’ range of features before choosing one for yourself. Adjustable standing desks can be heavy, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself when it’s time to move your desk height up or down. After all, the point of ergonomic options like standing desks is to help prevent injuries. An electric height adjustable desk uses motors to move the desk surface to the height you need, quickly adjusting from a sitting to a standing position.
Standing desks are one way to incorporate more movement into the day. Here are five benefits of using a standing desk:
1. Reduced risk of obesity.
People who stand more walk around more. And people who walk around more burn more calories. No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, you probably didn’t achieve your goals overnight. You might need some time to work your way up to standing while working, and that’s where an adjustable height desk comes in. These desks move vertically to the ideal position for you no matter whether you’re sitting or standing. Ideally, you should work toward a goal of standing for about half your workday. Don’t overdo it! Wear comfortable shoes and gradually increase the time you spend standing.
2. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sitting all day seems to be related to reducing the body’s effectiveness in regulating blood sugar known as metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. Both groups took identical numbers of steps, demonstrating that the smaller spike was from standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.
3. Reduced risk of heart disease.
Scientific evidence that sitting is bad for the cardiovascular system dates to the 1950s, when British researchers compared rates of heart disease in London bus drivers (who sit) and bus conductors (who stand) and observed that the former group experienced far more heart attacks and other problems than the latter. A recent Kaiser Permanente study suggested that men who spent at least five hours a day sitting had twice the risk of heart failure when compared to those who sit less than two hours a day and exercise often.
4. Reduced risk of cancer.
Some studies have suggested that extended sitting may be linked to certain cancers, particularly breast and colon cancer. The reasons for this cancer risk is still unclear, but present in higher levels in people who sit for long periods of time, scientists have found a number of biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein.
5. Lower early mortality risk.
A 2012 study found that when people reduced their sitting time to only two or three hours a day, their life expectancy increased. These projects control for other factors such as diet and exercise, still indicate that sitting can lead to a variety of health problems and increase the overall risk of death, even if you’re exercising away from work and eating a healthy diet.
Many people have these same concerns, and have started standing while working. One great way to accomplish this goal is to start using a standing desk.
Spending some of your time at work at a standing desk is one of the most direct solutions, though there are many situations besides the office in which we sit for extended periods (driving and watching TV, for instance, are at the top of the list). Ideally, you should move around as much as possible throughout the day.