It is estimated that a staggering 86% of Americans perform a job that requires them to sit at a desk all day, which in turn can result in health issues among the working population at a vast cost to U.S businesses in absenteeism and healthcare costs.
A stand-up desk. also called a standing desk, is one that allows you to work in a standing position. It is usually adjustable, and has been found to negate the harmful effects of sitting too much.
Here are some of the advantages.
Lower Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Sitting is strongly linked to obesity and metabolic disease. Overweight employees cost their employer around $73 billion a year and make twice the number of compensation claims. Standing uses more calories than sitting, in fact a study found that office workers who stood up for the afternoon burnt 170 more calories in an afternoon than their sitting coworkers. That adds up to 1000 extra calories a week burnt, just from standing alone.
Standing Desks May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat. In the short term this can cause lethargy and hunger and result in a decrease in productivity among staff. The long-term implications are more severe, and it has been found that being sedentary for long periods of time has been linked to a whopping 112% greater risk of type two diabetes.
A study involving ten office workers found standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced blood sugar spikes by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. It also found that alternating throughout the day between standing and sitting every 30 mins reduced blood sugar spikes by 11.1%.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
A study conducted in 1953 found that bus conductors had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as their colleagues in the driver’s seat despite having similar eating habits. Scientists have now discovered that remaining sedentary for long periods of time can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
This isn’t thought to be counteracted with intense exercise, either. However, workers who spend more time on their feet will see major benefits for heart health.
Reduction in Back Pain
One of the major complaints of office workers who are seated all day is back pain. Studies show that participants who used a stand up desk had a 32% improvement in back pain after several weeks of using a stand-up desk.
Helps to Improve Mood and Energy Levels
One study has found that employees who use standing desks are less fatigued and stressed than their sitting counterparts. 87% of the participants of the study also reported to have more energy and vigor. This is in keeping with research that aligns sedentary time with an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
Improved mood and energy levels can of course lead to greater productivity, but it has also been found that tasks such as typing are in no way hindered by standing.