7 Benefits Of Using Standing Desks For Your Office
7 Benefits Of Using Standing Desks For Your Office
We are all used to spending hours and hours at work, and for some of us, most of that time is spent in an office, in front of a computer screen, and in many cases, sitting behind a desk. However, sitting down for endless hours, day in and day out, is not what our bodies were designed to do.
Evolutionarily speaking, when our ancestors began walking on two feet tens of thousands of years ago, they spent a great portion of their days walking – either chasing animals to eat or picking fruit from trees – and so our bodies evolved to take full advantage of our standing capabilities.
In other words, we are not meant to be sitting down for that long. We all have felt the discomfort that sitting down for too long can cause, as comfortable as the chair may be. Our backs hurt, our legs cramp and even our bottoms ache depending on how much time we spend sitting down.
But fortunately, that does not have to be the case in an office environment. Ergonomic standing desks are ever more present in the workplace. These are not necessarily just high tables, but actual desks with adjustable heights, as you can see here.
Standing at work is not just a trend, but it brings real health and production benefits. The Orthopaedic Hospital in Wisconsin (USA) has published an article where it refers to some of the gains from standing whilst working.
1. Better Focus By Keeping the Blood Flowing
Albert Einstein used to ride his bike whenever he wanted to brainstorm ideas. Movement keeps the blood flowing, which helps keeping the brain active. Sure, standing by your desk isn’t the same as going for a bike ride, but it stimulates blood flow more than simply sitting down.
As a result, standing up may help improve mood and focus. It isn’t uncommon for us to feel distracted or psychologically tired throughout a long working-day. At such times, standing up, much like splashing cold water in your face, can turn that sensation around, providing a boost of energy and concentration.
2. Improve cardiovascular health
We are all aware of the dangers of blood clots forming during long airplane journeys. These happen precisely because in those scenarios we spend too much time sitting down. In those circumstances, it is recommended that passengers walk around the plane to stimulate blood flow.
The office environment isn’t very different. As well as keeping the brain active whilst working, a continuous high blood flow is also healthy for your whole body. Standing means working leg muscles, balance and core strength, all of which require a stronger blood flow throughout the whole body, benefiting the heart and the whole cardiovascular system. In fact, some studies show that people that spend more time standing tend to have a longer lifespan altogether.
3. Burn more calories
It isn’t a surprise that standing up by your desk will burn more calories than sitting down. A few studies have shown that standing up (without walking anywhere) burns from 100 to 200 calories per hour. Meanwhile, sitting down will only burn 60 to 130 calories/hour, about 40% less than standing up.
4. Better posture
It is much easier to relax your whole body while sitting down, so naturally it becomes much easier for us to slouch. As much as chairs may be ergonomically designed and made to stimulate good posture, after hours of sitting down, it is common for us to let it slip and fall back into a slumping position.
While sitting down redistributes your weight in a way that your upper-body can relax on top of your lower-body (which isn`t ideal), standing requires balance and for your weight to be more evenly distributed, so maintaining a bad posture isn’t as easy.
5. Fewer aches and pains
Consequently, a better posture means that you are less likely to feel back pain, as well as aches in other parts of your body. Aside from avoiding bad posture and positions that would naturally cause discomfort, standing keeps muscles working, making the whole core stronger and less assailable to aches and pain.
6. Reducing wrist fatigue
This might sound little, but the position of your wrists can be detrimental to your health. If you have ever sat with a laptop on your lap, you may have noticed that after a while your wrists might have felt tired and started to hurt. That is because, over time, when bent the same way (and in the wrong way), the nerves in the wrist start feeling distressed from forcing a position that isn’t natural.
Ideally, the most ergonomic comfortable position for your wrist is at an angle between 90-100 degrees, which is easily achievable with a standing desk. In addition to improving wrist position and riding potential soreness, standing whilst typing has been proven to increase typing speeds.
7. Increased Productivity
A study by a university in Texas has showed a production increase of up to 50% in work places where people were standing up, versus offices where they were sitting down. There are several physical and psychological factors that seem to contribute to this increase in production.
Physically, aside from increasing blood flow, as pointed earlier, standing up stimulates endorphin production in the brain; the same chemical released when we run or exercise, which can boost mood, focus and concentration.
Psychologically, when we stand instead of sitting, we feel healthier, which tends to affect our mood and energy positively, consequently improving how we feel about our workday as a whole.
Standing up by your desk may seem like a small change on your daily work practice, but it can make a big difference and bring powerful results. Many workers might not want to spend 8 full hours standing, but even standing for a few hours during the day can have a big impact on overall health and wellbeing for office workers.
If your office is not set up in a way that allows you to stand by your desk, we can help you: get in touch with us today. Not only that, we can also assist in setting up a full ergonomic workstation in a few simple steps.