By Rachel Pelta
Researchers consistently find that prolonged periods of sitting are bad for one’s health and that the simple act of standing more often can have a huge payoff. One way for workers to stand more during the day is to use a standing desk.
Benefits of Standing Desks
Between sitting at work, eating lunch, and watching TV at home, the average office worker sits for about 10 hours a day. These prolonged periods of sitting can have an adverse impact on your health, but using a standing desk for part of the day can help negate them.
May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
After lunch, your body begins breaking down what you ate into glucose, a necessary fuel for your body. And while you need glucose to function, too much of it for too long isn’t good for you. The faster your blood sugar returns to its pre-meal level, the better.
Working at a standing desk can help lower blood sugar levels. Several studies have shown that standing instead of sitting after lunch can reduce glucose levels between 11.1% and 43% compared to sitting.
Increases Your Metabolism
Metabolism is how your body converts food into energy. How quickly or slowly you metabolize food is determined, in part, by your physical activity. The less active you are, the less energy your body needs, the less quickly you metabolize food. In fact, your metabolism slows by approximately 90% within 30 minutes of taking a seat.
While this may not seem like a big deal (you don’t need as much energy to sit, after all), the problem is that when your metabolism is slow, the enzymes that remove the bad fat from your arteries also slow down. Sit for two hours or more, and your “good” cholesterol rate drops 20%.
Reduces Back Pain
No matter how comfortable or ergonomically correct your chair and workstations are, the odds are pretty good that at some point during your workday, you’ll experience back, shoulder, or neck pain.
In a study conducted by the CDC, researchers found that 54% of participants who used a standing desk for at least part of the day reported significantly reduced back and neck pain after four weeks. Interestingly, when participants went back to their sitting desks, the pain returned after only two weeks.