Have you heard? Sitting is the new smoking.
Yes, that seemingly innocuous thing you do for six hours a day may be killing you.
Studies have shown a link between sitting for too long and an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, back pain, depression, anxiety, and cancer.
This research is concerning, especially because most of us are required to sit at work for most of the day. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to combat those health woes.
Meet the adjustable standing desk
The adjustable standing desk is, you guessed it, a desk that lets you stand up while you’re working.
There are many different versions available today, including height-adjustable desks, sit-stand desks, and even treadmill or stationary bike desks.
Adjustable standing desks are quickly gaining in popularity, as users notice an improvement in quality of life, productivity, and comfort.
Before you run out and buy one, there are a few things to keep in mind so you get the most bang for your buck:
- >Make sure your workspace can accommodate a new adjustable standing desk setup.
- >Check the measurements and be sure the desk can adjust as low as your sitting elbow height and as high as your standing elbow height.
- >Make sure your new setup allows you to sit comfortably as well.
Aside from helping with “tech neck” and hunched shoulders, adjustable standing desks offer lots of benefits that can significantly improve your health.
Reduces obesity risk: We all know we gain weight when we take in more calories than we burn. An easy way to burn some extra calories is to stand rather than sit. In fact, standing can burn 170 extra calories compared to sitting for the same amount of time.
Lowers blood sugar: One study showed that standing for 3 hours after eating lunch can reduce blood sugar spikes by 43% when compared to sitting for those same 3 hours. Managing your blood sugar levels is key to lowering your risk for Type 2 diabetes, and it looks like standing could easily fend off those spikes.
Reduces heart disease risk: The link between sitting and heart disease goes back to 1953 when a study showed that bus conductors who stood all day cut their risk of heart disease in half. Scientists think that sedentary time increases your risk of developing heart disease by up to 147%.
Less back pain: If you’ve got back pain, an adjustable standing desk could be the solution. Several studies have shown an improvement in back pain when using standing desks. In one study, participants noted a 32 percent improvement after several weeks of using a standing desk. Another study showed that an adjustable standing desk reduced back and neck pain by 54 percent in only four weeks.
Improved mood and energy: Did you know standing makes you happier? Studies have shown that workers who used standing desks were less stressed and less tired, and 87 percent felt more energized. What happened once they sat down? Their mood and energy plummeted.
Increased productivity: Good news for the skeptical boss that thinks a standing desk will make her employees’ less productive: Research shows standing at work is more likely to increase productivity than hinder it. And using a standing desk has no effect on everyday tasks like typing.
Longer life span: You’ve likely heard that sitting is so bad for you that even an hour-long sweat session might not undo the negative effects. It’s true. People who sit the most have a 49 percent greater risk of premature death than those who sit less. Using a standing desk to cut your sitting time to 3 hours or less a day is an easy way to up your life expectancy by two years.
Making the switch to an adjustable standing desk
No matter how excited you are about your new adjustable standing desk, you should know that there will be a transition period.
You might think you can stand all day, but standing takes 20 percent more energy than sitting.
Ease into it by standing for 10 or 15 minutes and increasing the amount of time slowly. Work up to 20 or 30 minutes at a time until you can comfortably stand for about a quarter of the day.
Make the transition a bit easier by:
- >Adjusting the computer screen so it’s just above eye level and about 15 to 30 inches from your face.
- >Trying an adjustable-height keyboard tray so you can keep your wrists flat and elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- >Using a gel mat to support your knees, hips, and ankles.
- >Propping your foot up on a footrest when standing.
Look for options like the FLEXPRO 35” Kit that bundle everything you need to get started, including a standing desk, a mat, a keyboard rest, and a mouse and wrist rest.
Already using your adjustable standing desk like a pro? Why not take one of those treadmill or stationary bike desks for a spin? You’ll benefit even more from the extra movement.