Are Standing Desks a Healthier Option for Office Workers?
According to a 2012 study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, about 50-70% of the population spends six or more hours per day sitting. It may not seem like a big deal, but research shows that sitting for prolonged periods of time can take a major toll on your health, and may even lead to increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity and early mortality.
Benefits of standing desks
So if you sit at a desk all day, what can you do about it? Advocates of workplace wellness initiatives are hoping 2015 will be the year that standing desks, which were preferred by great minds from Leonardo da Vinci to Virginia Woolf, will help office workers stay healthy and even get more work done. This is something which all businesses will want to aim for. If a standing desk can help boost productivity, and improve their health then what’s not to love?
“Many people report feeling more energetic. It certainly helps with mental processing,” said Dr. Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that over an eight-hour day standing at a desk burns an additional 163 calories compared to sitting. However, prolonged standing isn’t good for your health either – the point is to break up the monotony and avoid strains on any particular body part. Experts recommend beginning by standing for about an hour per workday, and increasing the standing time as your body adjusts.
“It’s more of a lifestyle approach: turning the clock back to where life used to be before we engineered movement out of our lifestyle,” says Bryant.