You may have heard the claims that standing instead of working is going to make a world of difference for your body, but what’s the point of a standing desk?
My first foray into working full time wreaked havoc on my body. In a matter of days I was suffering from tension headaches, shoulder pain, and a ton a upper back stiffness. The reason? I went from being super active to sitting at a laptop for 8 hours a day.I only lasted for a few months before I got to work on finding a standing desk and have never looked back!
Here are three reasons you should ditch your chair and use a standing desk:
- It feels better. When you stand with good posture (head over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over ankles), there is less strain on your soft and hard tissues to keep you upright. Your body is smart, and can better support and stabilize itself when the entire system is contributing in a balanced way, aka standing. Most of the upper back and neck pain that comes from sitting is from slouching, which is much harder to do in standing (plus, you’re more aware of it!). I will put a big fat disclaimer on this: the first 2 weeks of standing are exhausting, so take it easy. Try 20 minutes twice on the first day and gradually increase it from there. Don’t try to be a hero and stand for 8 hours the first day or you’ll never do it again. Trust me ;)
- You’re more active. If counting calories is your thing, a 2013 study found that people who stand burn, on average, 50 more calories an hour than those who sit. In general, our modern lifestyle requires lots of sitting and inactivity (commuting, eating, and visiting with friends all requires sitting) so anything you can do to move more throughout your day is best. Just standing for a few hours a day is providing your body with the movement nutrients that only standing and activity can provide. Plus, you can more easily productively fidget. This is a great opportunity to roll your YTU Therapy Balls underfoot or stretch your calves. I find that my best thinking happens when I can fidget while working.
- You reduce your chances of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies have shown a connection between physical activity and these diseases – getting up and out of your chair is step one on the path of becoming more physically active. Exercising for an hour a day is not enough to offset the 8+ hours a day you sit, just like eating salad on Sunday does not offset eating nothing but Snickers all week!
So just move – and one of the easiest ways is to get up and out of your office chair with a standing desk. Your body and health will thank you for it. Do you have a standing workstation? What health benefits have you felt from standing? Let me know in the comments below!
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