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Standing desks benefits: reasons to ditch scepticism

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Standing desks have been one of the great office innovations of the past few years, and the once-weird-and-niche concept behind these sit stand desks seems to be taking the world by storm and cropping up more and more in the business world. But if you’re in a position to use, or acquire, a standing desk but feel like it’s all a bit too much of a gimmick for you, you should seriously reconsider. Here are some great reasons why you should opt for the standing desks benefits.

Standing desks benefits

They may save your life

What’s the most common pastime of office workers? If you answered “attending meetings”, “responding to emails”, or “making sales calls”, you’re wrong. The most common pastime of office workers, all around the globe, is sitting. Sitting, sitting, and more sitting. And then when those same office workers get home, they likely sit some more in front of the TV or computer.

The issue is that sitting for extended periods of time has been shown to be absolutely destructive for overall health and wellbeing, with studies linking extended periods of sitting with a higher risk of dying from all causes. Something as simple as alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day could potentially save your life. In other words, the standing desks benefits may be a literal life-saver.

They can get you fit without you even noticing it

When you stand up and deal with a work assignment or think over an issue, you likely aren’t just standing perfectly still, rooted to one spot like a meditative statue. Much more likely, you find yourself shifting your balance from one foot to the other or pacing around as you consider the situation.

Though it may not seem like much, these small bursts of additional physical activity in your day can lead to truly dramatic increases in your metabolism and the amount of energy you expend daily. If you have one of the most cutting edge standing desks — the ones that include a treadmill, as well — the entire effect of standing desks benefits will, of course, be even more dramatic.

They can inspire creative thinking

There’s a reason why so many famous writers, poets, philosophers, and even scientists loved to work standing up, or go for walks when puzzling out a problem, and it’s not because they were all suckers.

Any form of physical exercise — even something as seemingly trivial as standing at your desk and pacing around — will result in improved blood flow in the body and brain, not to mention the release of various hormones associated with alertness and the inspiration needed for unconventional ideas. A standing desk, in other words, can boost your ability to think creatively.

They can boost your mood and productivity

If you find your energy and mood lagging at the office on a regular basis, and discover that you can’t make it through a full day without consuming at least a barrel of coffee, standing desks benefits might help you out.

The same exercise-inspired cascade of hormones which lead to improved creativity will also lead to improved mood and productivity, particularly due to improved circulation and the release of feel-good endorphins.

Overview of standing desk benefits for the long term

Work makes you sick. Ok, that’s admittedly pointed and also formulated provocatively. But it is not too far from reality. Employees are reporting sick more and more often and are absent longer, many drag themselves to work sick and not a few are taking early retirement due to health reasons . The health reports of the health insurance companies paint a worrying picture.

Stress-related illnesses are no longer uncommon , as more and more employees are no longer able to cope with the pressure and psychological stress. But not only the psyche suffers from the working conditions, the body too. And not only in the physically demanding jobs in which the workers lift heavy loads or have to work in a stooped position.

Many health complaints are office illnesses that run through all industries and employers and from which almost everyone who spends many hours at a desk and in front of the monitor has suffered.

One culprit for all these complaints has already been found: the office chair . If you sit at work most of the day, you’re doing your body a disservice. Hunched and rigid postures cause tension , muscle discomfort and thus back pain , perhaps the most widespread disease.

Working while standing: it helps with learning and weight loss

“Sitting is the new smoking” – More and more studies are warning of the harmful effects of sitting. Humans themselves are simply not made to sit still for hours. The body wants to be moved and also relieved. Researchers were able to show that sitting too much leads to increased cardiovascular diseases. Those who just sit all day even increase the risk of developing colon or lung cancer. To put it bluntly: Sitting can be fatal.

Moderate work while standing is not just a healthy alternative. It has other advantages and benefits as well. Standing at work helps your circulation, relieves the strain on your neck and back and even increases your intellectual abilities. “If you stand, you learn better.” This is how, for example, the result of a study by Ranjana Mehta and Mark Benden from the Texas A&M School of Public Health can be summarized. For more than half a year, the researchers observed students who both followed lectures at standing desks and later studied and studied. Result: After just six months, the test subjects had not only learned more than their seated fellow students, their cognitive abilities had also improved.

Lose 10 pounds in 4 years

Reading and understanding, learning, memorizing facts, solving complex problems, structuring thoughts – all of this improved while standing. During their experiments, the researchers were also able to determine changes in brain activity as a result of standing. The frontal lobe in particular was stimulated as a result. Overall, the standing students showed a seven to 14 percent increase in memory performance.

Standing desks even help with weight loss, found a team of American cardiologists. In an article for the “European Journal of Preventive Cardiology” they calculate that the human body burns 0.15 more calories per minute than when sitting. According to this, a person who weighs 65 kilograms would lose ten kilograms in four years – if he stood six hours a day instead of sitting (and did not eat anything during that time). According to the researchers, this effect can be increased by “additional muscle movements”. “Not only does standing burn more calories, the extra muscle activity has also been linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes,” says study author Francisco Lopez-Jimenez of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “So the benefits of standing could go beyond weight loss.

Standing desk benefits: these are the advantages

  • They relieve your back and can reduce back pain.
  • They promote blood circulation. The circulation is stimulated, which can also improve the mood.
  • While standing, you stretch your upper body, which allows you to breathe deeper and take in more oxygen.
  • The legs are relieved because they are not bent all day.
    You burn extra calories – even if this cannot replace exercise and a healthy diet.
  • Muscles are built . On the other hand, if you only sit, you lose muscle mass. An important advantage, especially for posture.
  • Researchers were able to show that communication is more efficient when standing.
  • When standing, you have more freedom of movement and can be much more active while working.
  • Anyone who is standing anyway is less lazy. Instead of just writing an email, it is easier to briefly go to the office next door.
  • Your voice tells you whether you are sitting or standing. When standing, you sound much more dynamic, self-confident and also more convincing.

Working while standing: what are the disadvantages?

Working while standing – the ultimate savior? Not quite. According to a Canadian study led by Peter Smith from the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) in Toronto, in which the data from 7,300 workers were evaluated over a period of twelve years, it was found: 6.6 percent of workers who mainly work in the Standing working, developing heart disease. For comparison: only 2.8 percent of workers who mainly worked while sitting also developed heart disease. One possible explanation: the increased venous pressure in the legs could encourage the body to pump the blood from the legs back to the heart. Oxidative stress would be the result. And it’s bad for the heart.

However, the way you stand can vary significantly. Whether you stand bent over or upright, constantly bend over or stand more or less rigidly. In addition, the scientists only recorded heart diseases, but not other possible secondary diseases.

At work: sitting or standing desks benefits?

Nevertheless, the results are a bitter blow for all seated workers who had hoped for a remedy from their standing desks. But what should you do instead? A combination of sitting, standing, and exercise should be the most beneficial to heart health while you work. Employers need to get this message across to their employees, not just those who sit mostly, but also those who mostly stand.

In fact, according to the study, the risk for workers who alternate standing, sitting and walking was reduced. But only for men. Even this combination didn’t work for women. This is justified by the fact that women work particularly often as nurses or teachers – jobs with high (psychological) stress potential. His advice: You have to think beyond physical health. The perfect combination: Combine physical activity with mental stress relief. It’s not that easy, though. Anyone who finds the magic formula would definitely have deserved a prize.

Movement at work: it helps!

Permanent standing is also not as healthy as expected. Of course, that doesn’t mean that sitting is a boon again. Sitting remains a silent killer. How do you stay away from him? There are also findings from Canada on this. Adults therefore need 60 to 75 minutes of moderate physical activity per day if they want to compensate for the risks of an eight-hour day at their desk. The Canadian study, which appeared in “The Lancet”, is based on a total of 16 studies with one million participants from around the world. You can do this, for example, by taking a quick walkor cycling. Problem from a psychological point of view: 60 minutes a day is an almost unattainable limit for many. And hopelessness can mean that many do not even try. But: for those who move as well as they can, just a few minutes a day are an improvement. The more exercise, the better.

 

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