Sitting down at your desk, in front of the TV, or even in a classroom for too long can be detrimental to your health. No, not just your mental health, your physical well-being too! Spending too much time sitting down has recently been tied to a number of health issues including diabetes, obesity and heart disease. You may have heard people are saying that “sitting is the new smoking” recently – this is why.
Smart employers understand that healthy employees are productive employees, and as such have started investing more into the well-being of their workforce. While some employers offer their employees things like gym memberships, yoga classes, and healthy lunches, many employers are investing in standing desks for their workforce.
What Is A Standing Desk?
A standing desk, or a stand-up desk, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a desk that you can stand at. Most modern stand up desks offer motorized controls that let the user raise and lower the desk height. These adjustable height desks give the user options so that they can comfortably stand or sit, depending on your mood.
In addition to traditional adjustable desks, companies are manufacturing adjustable desktop extensions and adjustable desktops. These are extendable desktops that can be placed on top of any traditional desktop. Another way to think of them is as desktop converters or desk converters.
Typically, these types of desk options can be found for under $500, which makes for an easier investment in new office furniture for businesses with many employees.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Stand-Up Desk?
There are countless health benefits to spending more time on your feet when at work. Aside from the obvious benefits when it comes to stiffness and soreness, there are also several much more significant health benefits that you may see once you start getting on your feet while working.
Lower Risk of Weight Gain & Obesity
At the end of the day losing or gaining weight will all depend on the number of calories that you take in and the number of calories that you burn within any given day. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. If you eat more calories than you burn, you are going to put on some weight.
Now if your goal is to burn as few calories as possible, there are few things more effective than simply sitting down for 8 hours straight. However, most people are looking to burn extra calories, not store them up to be used later.
Studies show that people who are on their feet while working will burn anywhere from 50 to 100 additional calories each hour they’re on their feet. If you stand for just 4 hours per day, you can burn at least 1000 additional calories each week.
While burning only 400 calories per day may not mean much to some, when it comes to your health and fighting off obesity, any activity you do helps.
Heart disease is another major health concern for people in the United States, especially with people who live a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately for those who end up getting it, heart disease cannot be cured, it can only be treated.
One study performed on more than 800,000 participants found that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a 90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 147% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events as compared to an active lifestyle.
While we would never make the claim that using a standing desk will directly help with heart disease, some activity is better than no activity when it comes to heart health. So getting off your seat and onto your feet for a few hours every day won’t hurt.
Reduce Back Pain
As you get older too much of anything will give you back pain. And, believe it or not, sitting down all day, slightly hunched over staring at a computer is no exception to the rule.
Now, if you have back pain due to an injury or disability, spending more time on your feet is not going to be much help. But if your back pain is due to inactivity and poor posture, using a standing desk may help reduce some of that pain.
It’s not a good idea to stay on your feet for the entire day, or you may give yourself new back pain (or in one case – cankles). It’s a good idea to be on your feet for about 3-4 hours intermittently throughout the day.
Motorized adjustable standing desks are especially ideal for people with back pain as no lifting or pulling is involved. Typically, lowering and raising the desk is as simple as pushing a button or turning a nob.
Improve Mood & Energy
Have you ever noticed how standing up and taking a quick walk around the office gives you a little boost of energy when you feel yourself getting tired towards the end of a workday?
Studies have shown that mood and energy can be directly correlated to the amount of activity a person gets. It should come as no surprise that someone who spends all day laying on a couch watching TV would have less energy than someone who starts each day with a 5-mile run.
Spending all day sitting in a desk chair isn’t all too different from sitting on a couch when it comes to energy levels and mood. Intermittent standing is an excellent way to keep you energized and alert throughout the day.
Workplaces around the world are taking notice of the positive impacts on employee mood and productivity. More and more offices are investing in adjustable standing desktops and standing desks for their employees.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stand-Up Desks
Still not sold on the standing desk phenomena? Well if you have questions, we have answers. Here are some of the more popular questions we get asked, but if you have any questions of your own, feel free to reach out to our customer service team.
How Often Should I Stand Up At My Desk?
The amount of standing that’s appropriate for you will be different for everyone. If you are someone who is fairly physically active and already does a fair amount of standing every day, then you may comfortable being on their feet for 6 or even 8 hours a day.
If you are someone who is more accustomed to sitting for most of the day and don’t spend too much time on your feet, you may want to ease into it. Start by standing up for 30 minutes to an hour at a time and work your way up from there.
The good news is that any amount of activity that you end up doing is more than no activity at all. Starting small and being consistent will have more impact than trying to do too much at once or not doing anything at all.
Is A Standing Desk Good For You?
While we may be experts in the best office supplies online, we’re not experts when it comes to health and the human body. So while we can’t tell you that using a standing desk is necessarily good for you or bad for you, we can tell you a lot of our customers have bought them and love them.
How Do You Properly Stand At A Standing Desk
This is a great question. Getting comfortable at a standing desk can be more complicated than it looks.
To start, make sure your desk is at a comfortable height. Lift the desk up to about elbow height and make sure your elbows stay stationary and comfortable when using your computer. If you’re pulling your elbows up to reach the keyboard, it’s too high. Once you’ve found the best height range, try out a few different standing positions.
You should also make sure that your screen is positioned so that you don’t have to crane your neck, arch your back, or take some other uncomfortable stance. If you use a laptop, you may want to invest in a laptop stand as well as an external keyboard and mouse. You’ll thank us later.
Most importantly, make sure to switch up your sitting and standing positions regularly. If you don’t move around enough you’ll start getting stiffness and joint pain which is no fun at all.
What Is The Best Stand Up Desk
There are so many great standing desk options out there that it would be hard to pick just one. Varidesk, Ergotron, and Victor are three popular brands on the market. We also carry a lot of great products from Safco. Your best bet is to start by figuring out whether you’re looking for a fully adjustable standing desk or an adjustable desktop and then to figure out your budget. Once you have all of that in mind, search our website for standing desks and take a look through our selection. If you have any questions at all, our experienced customer support team is standing by.
What Are The Downsides of A Standing Desk?
Too much of just about anything in life will not be good for you. Spending all day on your feet is no exception. There are plenty of people who have given themselves stiffness, soreness, cramps and more from spending all day hunched over a standing desk. But as long as you make sure to comfortably use your standing desk intermittently throughout the day, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Finding The Right Standing Desk
So now that you know more about the benefits of using a standing desk, what are you waiting for? Finding the right standing desk for your office or workspace will be dependent on your budget, the amount of space you have available, and your intended use of the desk. We carry plenty of standing desk and desk extender options at a number of price ranges, so we are sure to have something that fits your budget. If you’re working in a tight office space, you may want to consider getting a desk extender for your current desk instead of upgrading to a full stand up desk. If you have any questions at all about our stand up desk options, desk prices, or which desk would be right for you, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team today.