Many modern offices are now shifting to an active lifestyle. Then you’d find that your office chair has already been replaced by gym balls, sit-stand chairs, and standing desks. You might no longer need your office chair to finish that pile of paperwork.
There’s been a rave on the standing desk. With recent studies revealing that sitting is next to smoking, who would want to sit for 6-8 hours straight? And scientific studies also spilled the beans on how sitting can increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, and even premature death. That’s a lot, right? No wonder, a lot of companies are now making the shift.
But is it all sunshine and kisses when it comes to standing desks? Should you really forego sitting when working altogether? We’re going to dive into the pros and cons of using standing desks. And how you can still work around the cons.
The Good Side – Why we should Use a Standing Desk
Let’s go further into the advantages of a standing desk. Most brands might already be using standing desks for their benefits. Let’s elaborate it further.
It can help you lose weight
You spend more energy expenditure when you’re standing compared to when you’re sitting. And if you don’t have any routine, you can really take advantage of your office hours by using a standing desk instead. But of course, it’s never a substitute.
Just how much fat can you lose by standing?
You burn about 80 calories when you’re sitting. Add 8 calories to that and you burn 88 calories when you’re standing. It might seem just a small increment that’s not significant. But if you do the math, that’s 8 times 8 hours a day, that’s 64 calories. Multiply that by 7, that’s 448 calories a week. That is almost equivalent to a regular chicken sandwich.
So think about having the liberty to eat an additional chicken sandwich without gaining fat a week. Now that’s significant.
Keeps your cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides at bay
Regular exercise can keep your lipid profiles and blood sugar at bay. It also helps you lose more fat, especially in the waist area. Increased fat accumulation in the belly area can make you more at risk of getting a stroke. So the bigger the bulge, the bigger the risk.
Though standing burns more energy, it’s not really a type of workout. But it’s better than having none. Since you burn extra calories when your; standing, it can help keep your waistline within the range. Your muscles also exert more effort when you’re standing
You enjoy steady bursts of energy
Standing improves your blood circulation so you feel all pumped up and energetic throughout the day. And since you have sufficient blood flowing through your entire body and to the brain, you’ll rarely feel sleepy.
And besides, it’ll be hard to take a snooze on a standing desk, unless you’d want everyone to see.
It’s also quite easy to squeeze in little stretches and a bit of jumping jacks if you’re standing. That will surely keep your blood pumping.
Can improve your mood
Small movements such as standing can significantly reduce your stress and anxiety. It’s surprising to know that using a standing desk can keep your brains healthy. How?
Burnout is such a mood sucker. You feel exhausted, tired, and just darn right not in the mood. That, coupled with an unhealthy diet can increase the glucose in your brain. Excess glucose in the brain can make you feel tired and can lead to burning out. Standing can help you burn more glucose.
And once you have eliminated the excess glucose in your brain, your brain becomes healthier. And a healthier brain makes you happier!
Standing also improves blood circulation, so it improves your brain’s oxygen uptake too. When your brain feels more alive with the steady supply of fresh oxygen, you’d be happy the entire day!
You can interact better with your colleagues
Instead of sending emails, it’s easy to go to a nearby desk to greet a colleague. Or if someone passes by, it’s easier to pop up a conversation rather than you hiding inside your cubicle. You don’t even need to go to the next desk to have an interaction with your colleague. Since you can see them from afar while you’re standing, eye interactions are very much welcome.
Studies have shown that small interactions with your coworkers help maintain a positive vibe in the office.
You gain great posture and a more engaged core
Sitting all day can result in a bad posture. There’s also less pressure on your back if you’re standing. And because you have to engage your core when, this can greatly improve your posture. You’ll notice a significant difference in your posture from several days of doing the shift.
Now, this could be the primary reason your company shifted to standing desks! But no kidding, standing desks can have a great impact on your productivity.
It keeps you alert since the blood circulation is better, your muscles are engaged and you’re not slouching in your office chair. It greatly improves your work performance as standing can also give you bursts of energy and a positive vibe.
Cons of Standing Desk – And How You Can Fix It
But of course, it’s not summer and sunshine every day. Standing desks do come with some cons.
You’re not benefiting much if you’re just standing still
Your body is designed to move. Standing still while using a standing desk won’t really account for small movement. Remember, you benefit from standing with the micromovements that you make.
So why not transfer your weight from one foot to the other. Or do a few jumping jacks or walk from one end of the desk to another? These small movements are big wins at the end of the day. It’ll also help you maximize the benefits of your standing desk.
If you’ve been literally standing all day, it can also hurt your back
Prolonged standing all day y can also put a toll on your back and spine. That’s why it’s great to have an option to switch to a sitting position if needed. Or at least have an opportunity to rest for a bit in an active sitting chair one in a while.
Foot and leg fatigue
Your feet and legs are the ones that would feel the impact if you’ve been standing for too long. That’s why it’s recommended to have breaks for at least several minutes. So a standing desk that can be lowered to a string position is a much better solution.
You can also use standing desk mats. These have cushions that can alleviate the foot and leg fatigue that can be caused by excessive standing.
4.The need to wear comfortable shoes
If you love high heels, you might need to trade them in for more comfortable pumps or work shoes. That’s one of the things that you have to let go once you use the standing desk. High heels won’t really provide you with the support and cushion that your feet need for standing desks.
Others even go barefoot or they use cushions and mats to help absorb the impact of too much standing.
May not be that comfortable if you’re using a laptop
It can cause a bit of strain on your neck and shoulders. One solution to this is to use an adjustable standing desk. You can also use a monitor for projecting your laptop. This way, you can maintain an eye-level view while working.
Costs more than a traditional desk
An adjustable and ergonomic standing desk will cost more than your traditional desk. And if you want the desk customized, prepare to shell out more moolah.
But of course, there are entry-level ergonomic standing desks that can still help you get the benefit of standing without breaking your budget.
Need for a break-in period
Sitting is the next smoking, but standing for too long is not beneficial. And if you’re new to standing desks, don’t dive directly into the bandwagon. Maybe use it for a sitting position for several hours and rest in between.
Treat it as an intervention or a rehab. You can’t just rush the entire process in a day. Your body has to get used to it gradually.
Using a standing desk has a lot of benefits. And the benefits further outweigh the cons. And we’ve suggested simple solutions on how to deal with some of the cons so that you can fully maximize your standing desk.