Standing at work is trending upward. Is this another health fad, or can choosing to stand at a desk instead of sit in a chair really have positive benefits to your wellbeing? Let’s take a look at the facts.
One thing is for certain: prolonged sitting is bad for our bodies. Several academic studies conducted since the start of the new century have linked our chair-based work habits with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and disability later in life. Even with adequate exercise in your schedule, sitting for seven to nine hours a day could have devastating effects on your health.
It makes sense when you think about it. Sitting is far from humanity’s natural posture. We evolved to stand upright so we could walk, jog, and run at full speed. Keeping a body meant for activity in a stationary, bent position is just asking for trouble from an anatomical and medical point of view.
Standing for seven to nine hours a day, is that any better for the body? No. Prolonged standing can lead to back problems and other crippling injuries. In fact we were having the reverse problem 100 years ago: industrial workers were often made to stand virtually nonstop for 12 hour shifts, resulting in bone and muscle aches of incredible magnitude.
Like many things in life, the key is striking a balance. According to UCLA Ergonomics it’s ideal to change-up work posture whenever possible. Avoid remaining in the same posture for more than a few hours. Sit a little, then stand. Adjustable desks make this a cinch to pull off in seconds. Make sure to alternate several times throughout your time at work.
Most important of all is to stay active. Move your body. Walk to the other end of the room. Opt for going down the hall to ask a coworker a question rather than sending them an email. Being able to stand at your desk encourages this behavior when you think about it. It’s so much harder to motivate yourself to get up out of a chair than to simply turn a direction and start moving.
To recap: sitting at a desk for eight hour straight, five days a week, for roughly 50 weeks a year, is going to most definitely contribute to a host of health problems later in life, if not contribute to bad health habits now. With that said, standing for the same length of time will result in some serious pain in the short and long-term. It’s important to switch it up and be willing to find ways to stay active here and there, something standing helps make easier.
Adjustable standing desks are the key to balancing the physical toil our office jobs bring upon our bodies. They allow for easy transition from sitting to standing in seconds, which promotes activity and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and disability.
Who knew our office jobs were so dangerous? Fortunately there’s a way to make it through your career in one piece: adjustable standing desks.