We all know that sitting down all day is bad for us, new research about this is carried out all the time so what can we do to solve this problem? Since for a lot of people sitting down all day is a part of their day at the office there is so much evidence as to why this can lead to poor outcomes both physically and mentally. Looking at research, the argument for the ability to break your day at the office with the ability to move around while working does come with health benefits:
Why is sitting all day a problem?
Saying it is a problem would be putting it lightly if you were to look at the research. It links sitting for prolonged periods of time to many health concerns and is likely to shorten your life. Dementia, heart disease and diabetes are just three of the many health concerns that could lead to early death and with a high majority of people doing jobs that involve them sitting down at a computer chair it is an issue that needs attention.
Why is using a sit-stand desk beneficial?
Since we are aware of the health problems that can be brought about by sitting all day, it makes sense that a desk that allows you to stand and move freely would be beneficial. Here is what research has found about this:
Lowers your risk of weight gain:
People gain weight as they take in more calories than they burn and sitting all day would contribute to that. While the most effective way to burn calories is exercise, standing has also been found to be beneficial with studies finding that spending an afternoon standing a week can burn almost 1000 extra calories each week.
Lowers your risk of heart disease:
An old study comparing the heart health of bus conductors and bus drivers found that standing all day instead of sitting had half the risk of heart disease related deaths. Recent studies have since added to this with the findings that prolonged time not moving around can increase the risk of heart disease by 147%. This is so severe that even doing intense exercise for 1 hour would not make up for the negative effects of sitting all day.
Reduces back pain:
If you work in an office sitting down all day, then you will have experienced somebody with or yourself having back pain. This is the most common issue of office workers and many studies have been conducted on people with long term back pain with sit-stand desks to see if it would improve. Results from this show that after 4 weeks of use up to 54% of people said that their neck and back pain had improved.
May help you live longer:
Since as we discussed earlier, sitting all day can lead to an early death, it would make sense that by spending time moving and standing during the day would help to stop the health concerns happening. Infact, the research shows that those who sit all day are 49% at a greater risk of dying early compared to those who sit less.
As well as the many health benefits, being able to stand while working has been seen to boost productivity. A study done using sit-stand desks conducted by University College London (UCL) found that it boosted productivity at work by:
- Increasing concentration and attention span.
- Increased participants’ judgement when it comes to decision making.
- Increased positive mental attitudes of participants.
- Increased openness to creativity.
Oh, how great would it be to have good posture! They have made chairs that aid in supporting you to sit straight but we know what sitting all day can do to you now and that is not a great outcome. Standing for prolonged periods of time can help with this, while standing you engage your core muscles which would over time improve your core strength. This would also help in reducing back and neck pain by creating a stronger core. You can take more pressure from your neck and the bottom of your spine.
As seen, there are many benefits of a sit stand desk. It can aid in supporting health benefits, productivity, and posture and when comparing it to the sitting alternative it is a no brainer on when is better for your overall health. It would be beneficial for employers of office spaces to take this into consideration when setting up a workspace as this would be helping employees to be healthier, more productive, and happier at work and that cannot be seen as a terrible thing in any workplace.