If you're like many professionals, you spend a significant portion of your day sitting at a desk. According to research, that's a problem.
In fact, multiple studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Not surprisingly, sitting all day is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
Fortunately, even if you have a desk job, you may not be desk-bound. Standing desks are becoming an increasingly popular choice among office workers, offering a host of benefits.
Reduces Lower Back Pain
Sitting for hours puts a lot of stress on the body. If you suffer from back and leg pain, then you've likely noticed that the longer you sit, the more uncomfortable you feel. According to a study conducted by the CDC in 2011, standing can reduce back pain by 54 percent. Standing also promotes better circulation, helping to prevent leg pain.
Prevents Neck Strain and Decreases Headaches
If you're sitting in front of a computer monitor all day, then you probably find yourself straining your neck towards your monitor. This causes your spine to curve into a "C" shape, which has both short-term and long-term problems like disc damage, shoulder pain, pain in your neck, and headaches. When you stand, you restore a healthy "S" shape to your spine, reducing pain through your back, neck, and head.
Standing burns more calories and requires that the body put forth more energy, but that doesn't mean that your energy levels will take a hit. In fact, because standing promotes better circulation and allows your body to take in more oxygen, you feel better for longer. Simply standing while you work can give you the energy boost equal to a cup of coffee, without the crash that comes later.
Unsurprisingly, that energy boost leads to greater productivity. A study conducted by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health showed that just by standing rather than sitting, office workers can improve their productivity by as much as 46 percent.
It's Part of a Robust Wellness Program
Many employers have recognized that implementing a wellness program that support workers' physical and mental health not only creates a better work environment, but it can help reduce out-of-control healthcare costs, employee absenteeism, and diminished productivity. Transitioning to standing desks can drastically cut down on the number of hours that employees spend sitting, helping to prevent serious health problems.
These are just a few of the many benefits that standing desks provide for office workers. While there are special considerations that need to be made (for example, hours of standing in place can result in foot and joint problems) making this transition and reducing the number of hours that you or your employees spend sitting is a simple way to boost morale and promote a healthy lifestyle.