You’ve probably heard the saying that sitting is the new smoking. It’s not an exaggeration.
In today’s world full of desk jobs, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. It hasn’t taken researchers long to learn that too much sitting is part of the problem.
Simply put, our bodies weren’t meant to be as inactive as we are today. In fact, almost half of Americans spend an unhealthy amount of time sitting every day.
The great news is that you don’t have to be a sitting duck. Check out the health benefits of standing desks.
Benefits of Standing Desks
In a world full of scams and snake oil you might ask, “Do standing desks really help?” The answer is “yes,” and in more ways than one. Here are the benefits you stand to gain.
1. Protection Against Chronic Diseases
Spending too much time on your kiester is a major risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases.
One of these chronic diseases is heart disease. Sitting for your entire workday does serious damage to your health, even if you get vigorous exercise on a regular basis.
Type 2 diabetes is another common and severe consequences of long-term sitting. Standing keeps your blood sugar levels more stable, which lowers your risk for diabetes. It also cuts down on the spikes and crashes in your energy levels throughout the day because your blood sugar is often to blame.
2. Potential for a Longer Life
The ultimate goal for protecting your health is to have a longer, more fulfilling life. A desk job can be a powerful factor that’s shortening your life. It’s ironic that making a living could limit your ability to live.
A standing desk can turn that around. Spending less time sitting and more time standing promotes healthier blood circulation. It can also lead to more activity overall because you’re more likely to fidget as you stand.
Circulation is vital for your health because it’s the only way oxygen and nutrients reach your cells. The improved circulation from standing also lowers your risk for blood clots, which can become life-threatening in a hurry.
Keep in mind that there are other steps you should take to make the most of that boosted life expectancy. Getting daily exercise, for instance, will further enhance the health benefits of your standing desk.
3. Less Chronic Pain
There’s a common misconception that desk jobs take less of a toll on your body than manual labor. The truth is that both types of careers can beat you up in different ways.
With a typical desk job, chronic pain is a common problem. We tend to use poor posture when we sit in desk chairs, and it’s even worse as we lean forward toward our computer monitors.
Between the poor posture and the craning our necks forward, office works often end up with chronic back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. Desk-related problems are among the most common problems our chiropractors treat.
Standing is a more natural position for our bodies. A standing desk allows us to maintain a better posture and lower the risk for chronic pain.
4. Less Fatigue
We’ve all felt the low-energy lull that sets in throughout the work day. The limited circulation and the lower muscle engagement of sitting too long can zap your energy.
That becomes a problem for employees and employers alike. Employees are tired and unhappy, which makes them less productive for their employers. It’s a lose-lose.
Studies show that just two extra standing hours per day will go a long way. It improves your health and your mood while helping you be more productive.
Counteracting the Limitations of Standing Desks
As much good as they can do, standing desks aren’t cure-alls. They have their limitations, and it’s important to know how to overcome them.
1. Problems with Long-Term Standing
It’s easy to see why sitting in one place for hours on end is a health hazard. The solution isn’t to swap that stationary sitting for stationary standing, though.
While standing is better than sitting, it has its own health risks. The most prominent one is vein disease. In particular, standing too long can lead to varicose veins, especially for people who are already prone to them.
The solution is to vary your position between sitting and standing throughout the day. Instead of a standard standing desk, opt for a sit/stand desk that is easy to adjust between sitting and standing.
2. Expectation of Weight Loss
There’s a common myth that standing desks will help you lose weight. They can, but it isn’t a slam-dunk.
Standing does engage more muscles than sitting which can burn more calories. Standing can also encourage you to be more active.
If you use your standing desk to do exercises at your desk, you might burn more calories and lose more weight. If you stay standing still, though, don’t expect the weight to fall off.
3. Requirements for Doctors’ Notes
Unless you’re willing to spend your own money, you’re at your employer’s mercy when it comes to getting a standing desk. In some cases, employers require a doctor’s note stating that a standing desk is medically necessary for you.
This doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Our Houston chiropractors often evaluate employees and provide notes to tell their employers how standing desks would help their health. Scheduling that appointment does add a hurdle, but it can offer you pain relief on top of the note you need.
Reaping the Benefits of Standing Desks
At first, desk jobs sound cushy and simple. You get to spend all day in a temperature-controlled office sitting in a chair, after all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the long-term sitting to take its toll with health hazards and chronic pain.
There are plenty of benefits of standing desks as long as you use them the right way. The tips above can help you have a healthier, more comfortable life without sacrificing your job.
To take a direct approach to pain relief or to get a note for your employer, schedule an appointment at our chiropractic clinic.