Standing desks are all the rave right now. All of a sudden, these adjustable desks are selling like hot pancakes off the grill. And now that everyone wants to jump on the wellness wagon, these decks have become the norm.
More and more companies are advocating standing desks. They have been ditching their trusty office desks and encouraging their employees to well, stand while working.
But can standing really benefit you more than sitting? And can it really help you lose weight? This is also one of the main reasons why everyone switched to a standing desk, the promise of a slimmer waistline. So let’s see if these claims are indeed true. And we’ll try to find the rationale for each.
- Benefits of Standing Desks – Why people want these desks
- BEST 24 Best Standing Desks in 2023 – Why these desks?
- Claim # 1 standing desk can make you lose weight
- Clam # 2 Standing desks can help reduce back pain
- Claim # 3 Standing desks can help reduce neck pain
- Claim # 4 Standing desks reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
- Claim #5 Standing desks can make you more energetic and happy
- Other ill effects of prolonged sitting
- More tips for a standing desk
- Final say
Claim # 1 standing desk can make you lose weight
You burn around 100-200 calorie per hour when you’re standing as opposed to the 60-130 calories when you’re sitting. But it would also have to depend on your height, weight, and age.
So in hindsight, you do burn more calories when you’re standing as opposed to when you’re sitting. So we all know by now, but how so?
When you’re standing, you are activating the muscles in your body, particularly your leg muscles. And when your muscles are activated, this will help you build it more. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you can burn because your metabolism speeds up.
And you’re more likely to move and fidget around when you’re standing as compared to when you are sitting.
But take note though that the calorie burned between standing and sitting isn’t that high. So if you can squeeze in more movements while you’re standing, that will help amp up the calories that you’re going to burn. Say, do a few jumping jacks or calf raise while you’re at it.
Clam # 2 Standing desks can help reduce back pain
Prolonged sitting can crush your back, and cause back and shoulder pain. You can even feel the entire pain and weakness in your whole body. Why does this happen? It can be for some reasons.
Prolonged sitting promotes slouching and it puts undue stress on your spine. It’s inevitable for your posture to slide if you are seated for a long time. That’s why if you’re seated for a long time you can feel your spine becoming stiff and sore. It can cause a tear in your spinal disc because of the undue pressure your back is experiencing.
And when you’re seated, there is restricted blood flow in your buttocks muscles or your glute muscles. Since your ass is all comfy on the chair, blood flow is lessened. This can have great repercussions on your spine, how?
Because the butt muscles support your spine. So when blood flow in the butt is restricted, it greatly affects the spine. It also results in tightening of the thigh muscle because blood flow is also restricted.
So sitting for a long time can cause back pain in two ways it promotes slouching and it restricts blood flow.
Claim # 3 Standing desks can help reduce neck pain
You all had your fair share of stiff necks when you were working on that deadline all day long, that’s if you are seated all the time. You tend to arch your head forward towards the monitor while seated. That’s referred to as the forward head position. And most sitters are guilty of it. That’s why you often feel a nagging pain on your neck after a day’s hard work.
Claim # 4 Standing desks reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
Yes, that’s true. But let’s take a look at exactly how standing desks can help you prevent heart disease and other lifestyle-related diseases.
We’ve talked about blood circulation in number 2. And this is also the main reason why sitting for a long period can cause heart diseases.
Prolonged sitting limits blood circulation. And when there is not enough blood flowing to your heart and brain, it means that there also is not enough oxygen. Since blood carries oxygen, this is inevitable.
And with lack of oxygen and blood flow comes a higher risk of incurring heart disease among others. Sedentary is a silent killer. And prolonged sitting is sedentary.
Standing desks can also help you decrease your risk for diabetes. How? Remember in number one we’ve talked about how standing can help you burn more calories?
One of the managements to prevent your blood sugar from spiking up is to get you moving. You have to burn off those excess sugars so that your body can achieve a healthy level of insulin.
And the more muscle you have, the more efficiently you can burn sugar and fat altogether. Just make sure to ditch your cola and go for tea instead, that might help a lot too.
The same rationale applies to how standing desks can help reduce your cholesterol level, triglycerides, and blood pressure level.
Claim #5 Standing desks can make you more energetic and happy
If you have a rich supply of oxygen filled blood flowing to your body, yes you will be more energetic and lively. You also won’t experience as much yawning that warrants a nap. Because your brain has a steady supply of blood and oxygen, you feel more invigorated. Especially if you’re also moving around, and not standing in one position.
Sitting for a prolonged time restricts the oxygen from flowing to your brains, that’s why you feel sleepy. You’ll also feel tired because there isn’t any proper exchange of carbon monoxide and oxygen in your body, and your lungs become overworked too. That’s why you always feel the need to yawn.
Other ill effects of prolonged sitting
Aside from the known cons of prolonged sitting, there are other symptoms that you might not attribute to slouching. But it could be the major cause. And these are some of the following.
How does slouching cause constipation? The slouching position with your back hunched over and knees lower than your hips can make your abdominals muscles weaker. This position kind of closes your anus, so you experience difficulty in moving.
Moving around or simply standing can help relieve constipation. Exercise or movement can help strengthen your internal muscles, making them easier to pass out stool.
Yes, you can suddenly leak a bit of pee once you laughed so hard. Prolonged sitting causes abdominal muscle too much pressure. And the abdominal muscle passes this pressure onto your bladder.
Your pelvis muscle also becomes weak since the muscle of your pelvis aren’t engaged because you aren’t moving. And this makes holding your pee harder because the pelvis muscles help you do so.
Too much sitting puts too much pressure on your abdomen and this can cause it to expel stomach acids, especially if you just ate. And this can cause acid reflux or heartburn.
So it’’s true when your mom told you not to lie down or sit after you had a full meal.
More tips for a standing desk
It’s true that sitting is the next smoking and all the claims of standing desks are indeed true. But while standing desks can help you lead a healthier lifestyle, there are some pints to take into consideration.
- Nothing can beat a healthy diet and regular exercise. While staging can help you burn more calories than sitting. It’s not an excuse to gorge on unhealthy foods and skip your workout routine. Instead of snacking on chips and drinking soda, why not feast on fruits, healthy sandwiches,and tea instead?
- It’s an intervention. And with all interventions, you have to go through stages. If you’re used to sitting for the entire day, you might want to take it one step at a time. Alternate between sitting and standing until your body is acclimated the whole idea of using a standing desk.
- Infuse some movement. To make the most out of your standing desk, go ahead and do a bit of jumping jacks or squats. This can help pump more blood into your body.
- Here can be pain in the beginning. Prolonged standing can also cause foot and leg pain. That’s why you cannot stay in one position only. Shifting movements and walking from one end of the table to the other side helps a lot. It can also help if you compliment your standing desk with a sit stand chair or standing mats, especially if you have foot issues.
So, yes, a standing desk is healthy! But you also have to consider the factors that I’ve listed above.
The bottomline is, too much of one thing that is bad. While standing desks can greatly benefit your health compared to sitting, you cannot just abruptly dive into it. Remember that everything takes time to get used to. Your body needs to get used to this new way of life. So you can’t force it, rather take it one step at a time.
And the key is to get our body to start moving! Using a standing desk is a bit of a step bard to dive into the whole wellness routine.