A growing number of studies associate too much sitting with chronic health conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. On the other hand, standing improves posture, increases metabolism, supports bone health, and enhances blood flow – all of which will help you evade the risks of sitting for long stretches of time.
Fortunately, standing desks are becoming more affordable and popular. These desks let you work comfortably while standing instead of sitting in a chair. In fact, sales of these desks have increased over the past few years; in several cases, sales of stand-up desks have now surpassed sales of traditional desks.
But will using a standing desk help you shed weight? Let’s find out!
Sitting for a long period of time can cause blood clot formation in the legs. Once blood clots form, they can travel to the lungs and lead to a pulmonary embolus (PE). PE can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, and even death.
Your bones get weaker when you sit for a long period of time. In addition to this, your skeletal system can experience inflammation, bone spurs, and pain.
The ability of the insulin hormone to usher glucose out of your blood and into your cells may decrease when you sit for an extended period of time. Vascular function may be decreased, and cholesterol and markers of inflammation may increase.
Too much sitting can increase the risk of endometrial cancer and colon cancer. According to one review, the risk for colon cancer jumps 8%, and the risk for endometrial cancer jumps 10% for every extra 2 hours each day spent sitting.
Sitting too much can be a primary cause of pain in the back. It can add a huge amount of pressure to the spinal discs and back muscles. Additionally, it can cause increased stress on the legs, neck, and back.
According to one study, people can avoid adding additional pounds and reduce their body weight by standing for 6 hours daily.
In contrast, sitting for a long period of time has been associated with diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The research, which was reported in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, assessed whether standing increases the amount of calories burned more than sitting. Scientists determined results from 46 studies with 1,184 subjects in all. Subjects were aged 33 years, 60% were males, and weight and the average body mass index were 65 kg and 24 kg/m2.
Scientists discovered that people who weigh 143 pounds burn 0.15 kcal every minute more when standing compared to sitting. If an individual who weighs 65 kg stands for 6 hours daily instead of sitting, they burn around 54 extra calories.
Standing is also linked to lower rates of diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks. Therefore, the advantages of standing could go beyond weight control.
In a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, scientists measured consumption of oxygen to assess calories burned while performing various activities, including standing, watching TV, sitting, and walking. The 74 healthy individuals burned 210 calories/hour while walking, 88 calories/hour while standing, and 80 calories/hour while sitting.
That is to say, you can burn 24 calories more daily by using a standing desk for 3 hours. However, you can burn 100 calories more daily by walking for 30 minutes during your lunch break.
Health conditions associated with an inactive lifestyle like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease can shorten your life span and harm your overall well-being. Decreasing your sitting time by 3 hours daily would increase your life span by 2 years.
Your risk of anxiety and depression increases by being inactive, and using stand-up desks can improve your mood and well-being.
During a study, subjects used sit-stand workstations and alternated between standing and sitting at work. They reported feeling more focused and energized, and less stressed while using sit-stand workstations.
According to another study, switching between standing and sitting every half an hour all day decreases blood sugar levels by 11%.
In a study of 10 employees, standing for 3 hours post-lunch decreased blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting for 3 hours.
Your risk of diabetes and high blood sugar is notably decreased by spending more time standing while working.
Stand-up desks are ergonomically built to enhance your workplace comfort and efficiency. In a study, workers at standing desks were 46% more productive than workers who were seated.
Individuals who sit at a desk throughout the day usually experience headaches, poor blood flow, as well as neck pain and back pain.
Spending some hours standing instead might ease your discomfort if you are experiencing frequent backaches. One study found that individuals who spent 60 minutes standing noticed a 54% reduction in neck and backaches. And in another study, people who worked at sit-stand workstations experienced a significant decrease in lower back pain.
You can increase the advantages of a stand-up desk by using it in combination with other lifestyle changes.
Studies have continuously demonstrated that sitting too much raises your risk of chronic health problems, such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Further, prolonged sitting is not good for your mental health. Plus, an inactive lifestyle invariably causes obesity and weight gain.
On the other hand, your overall endurance and energy levels improve when you are active. Your body burns more calories when you are standing or moving, and standing also helps reduce your risk for chronic diseases, decrease back pain, and control blood sugar.
To make a positive choice to support a healthy lifestyle, you can significantly decrease your number of seated hours by switching to a stand-up desk. And weight loss is just one of the many advantages.
Do you use a stand-up desk at work? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.
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