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Standing desks. Do you really need one? Personally, I think you do if you're sitting down at your desk 75% of the day. If you're not someone who is ‘chained' to a desk and most of your time is spent moving around, then a standing desk might not be your cup of tea…
Aside from the obvious hype that has surrounded standing desks, there are some fairly major health benefits associated with at least standing for a portion of your day. Conversely, you also don't want to spend your entire day standing either, so it's all about finding a balance that works for your body and overall health plan.
And don't forget it's a cumulative effect… if you have switched from an active lifestyle to a more sedentary lifestyle recently, you don't need to rush out and buy a standing desk just yet, although after you've read this post, you might be more inclined to do just that…
To help visualise how important a standing desk is for your overall health, I've created an infographic that provides the highlights of the major health benefits, with a breakdown of them in more detail below the image. Read on to learn more…
Standing Desk Health Benefits Explained
#1: Reduction of obesity
Research has provided some fairly compelling evidence that supports the use of standing desks in an office situation, particularly if you're spending more than 6 hours a day sitting; that's a combination of office hours, travel hours and whatever you're doing when you get home.
For most of us, we'll easily be sitting for more than 6 hours a day.
A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that movement throughout the day can lead to reduced obesity and that if you're continuously sitting for 6+ hours every day with very limited movement, no amount of exercising at the gym is going to counteract the cumulative effects of sitting for these long periods of time.
The aim is to increase your movement throughout the day, rather than remaining seated and essentially inert. This alone tells me that it's worth checking out a standing desk.
#2: A healthy, beating heart!
Sitting and heart disease have been linked together since the 1950s, so it's no surprise that one of the major benefits of having a standing desk or desktop laptop adjuster is the reduction in heart disease.
Recent studies show that if you're sitting for more than 2 hours straight per day, you're 34% more likely to develop some heart issues later in life compared to those who split this time up and exercise as well. The aim of the game is to not sit consecutively for longer than an hour at a time.
Exercise is definitely a big key factor in reducing your heart issues later in life too, but you can help that even further by utilising a standing desk or laptop stand as well.
Getting up every hour and going for a walk is also a great way to break up your day, particularly if you're like me and work from home, where it's even easier to not get out of your chair for 3-4 hours straight.
This is why using tools like the Focus@Will app and the Pomodoro method ensure that you're not sitting for longer than 60 minutes at a time.
#3: Reduction in cancer
In recent years, some studies have found that if you're sitting for longer periods of time, you could be at a higher risk of developing cancers, like breast or colon cancer.
It's unclear at this time what the factors are that increase the likelihood of cancer developing, but scientists say that it could be due to a biomarker called C-reactive protein, which appears to be higher in people who sit for longer periods of time compared with those who do not.
Bottom line — get up and move more than sitting each day.
#4: Reduction of type 2 diabetes
It's amazing to think that just sitting for long periods of time could increase your risk in developing cancers and heart disease, then you find out that it can also impact on your metabolism…!
Go figure. Apparently it's because if you're sitting for long periods, in some people, the ability to regulate glucose in the bloodstream is reduced, leading to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can read more about it here.
Basically, sitting for long periods of time is just not good for you. The more that you get up and move throughout your day, the more likely you are to avoid developing any of the above health issues.
Another reason why a standing desk is a good option.
#5: Increased lifespan
We all wanna live for longer, right? We want the opportunity see the world, to spend more time with our loved ones and to chill with our friends… well if you're spending 75% of your day sitting on your butt, you're decreasing the chances of being able to do the latter.
By investing in a standing desk or a laptop stand, incorporating exercise and a good healthy eating plan, you'll increase your lifespan… and if you sit for no more than 3 hours per day, you can actually add another 2 years to your life each year.
When faced with these realities, facts and figures, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to sit for long periods of time and not have a standing desk!
In fact, as I write this blog post, I'm doing so standing. I aim to sit for an hour, then stand for an hour, then sit… then I take a break for a while and move around, often going for a walk around the block or to grab something from the local convenience store.
Basically, anything that gets me moving and the blood pumping through my veins.
If you're looking for more research, checkout the sitting vs. standing debate here.
Do you have a standing desk or laptop stand? How have you found it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.