Workspace Talk: The Benefits of A Standing Desk
by Kelsey Krahn
Office workers know the woes of sitting for hours at a time. Talk about a sloping hunchback posture and strained neck, resulting in aches and pains. It doesn’t feel good, does it? Let’s not even touch on the dismal daily step count.
Thankfully, there’s a way to mitigate muscle pain and burn calories simultaneously, despite the lack of steps: a standing desk. It may sound exhausting to stand all day, but the benefits may sway you to switch. Let’s get into the details.
Are there different types of standing desks?
Which standing desk is suitable for you? Okay, we still need to start talking about the benefits, but if you’re hooked on potentially easing muscle aches with a standing desk, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking of which style might suit you best!
- Pile of books: Are we really putting this option in here? Sure, why not. If you’re on a budget, you could always create your own standing apparatus while you save for a standing desk. This could be a decent way to test whether a standing desk is for you.
- Adjustable sit-to-stand desk: This option is excellent if you like to swap between sitting and standing throughout the day. Knowing you can switch between the two positions if you’d like is nice. Your body might have moments where it needs to sit, too (which is okay!).
- Fixed standing desk: If you want to force yourself to stay on your feet all day, a fixed standing might suit you best. Plus, it’s usually cheaper than an adjustable sit-to-stand desk.
- Exercise desk: Get your steps in and work at the same time? Yes, please. The standing exercise desk usually comes with an under-desk treadmill or bike. These typically cost between $700-800 USD. The price may seem steep, but brief exercise bursts might help your productivity and focus.
Researching workspaces with standing desks might be a good idea if you’re a remote worker. You can’t exactly carry a pile of books everywhere with you, can you? (We bow down to those of you that do!).
What are the benefits of a standing desk?
1. Decrease your blood sugar levels.
Reducing blood sugar levels is key to keeping our health intact! One study highlights how important it is to break up extended sitting periods with movement to decrease blood sugar levels.
Throughout the study, participants swapped sitting with standing in 10 to 30-minute time chunks throughout the day. The week after, they replaced standing with a treadmill desk, followed by a stationary bike.
In the end, the participants experienced lower glucose levels when walking or standing and the lowest when cycling.
2. Burn some calories.
Your step count as an office or remote worker may be horrendous throughout the 8-hour work day, but what if you could burn a small number of calories without even taking a step?
Don’t believe us? Try out the calculator at JustStand.org to learn the beautiful reality of standing over sitting throughout the day. It might seem like a tiny amount, but over time the calories expended will add up! And no, you don’t need to stand all day. For example, a professor from the University of Waterloo claims that you should stand for at least 30 minutes every hour to reap the benefits.
3. Improve your heart health.
The notion of standing to improve heart health harkens to the 50s’. This initial study explored the health differences between bus conductors who spent the day on their feet versus those cozied in a driver’s seat. So naturally, the results highlighted the benefits of standing: the conductors standing had half the chance of dying from heart disease.
Some of you might be thinking, “a 50-50 chance? Not bad.” Well, we have some bad news for you. More recent studies have discovered some frightening facts on sedentary behavior, declaring that sitting for a long time may shoot your chances of heart disease up to a whopping 147%!
These stats alone make a standing desk worth it, don’t they?
4. Reduce back pain.
Have you ever taken a picture of your posture while sitting at your desk mid-day? You’re probably hunched over your computer, with your back curved, shoulders slumped, and your neck strained. Not pretty. Hours and hours of sitting in the same position can hurt both your posture and your joints!
A study conducted in 2018 found that a sit-stand desk eased lower back pain by 50% in its participants. So most people who make the switch might find that the pressure clawing at their neck and back will decrease. (Reduced back pain? Talk about every office worker’s dream!)
But, of course, you need to set up your standing desk in a way that works to minimize back pain rather than worsen it. For example, you want your computer screen to meet your eyes with your elbows at 90 degrees.
Remember that standing desks won’t heal severe or chronic back pain!
5. Boost your productivity.
Scientists declare that standing for intervals throughout the day can elevate productivity, according to a study with students as participants. They claim that standing boosts blood flow, so, ultimately, brain activity. You also gain energy from shifting positions, which might propel focus forward. Not bad at all.
And what happens when you’re focused and experiencing fewer muscle aches? Inevitably, productivity should only rise with a standing desk.
Now you know the benefits of a standing desk…
When you invest in a standing desk, you’re investing in improving your health. The adjustments might feel small, but they’ll stack up over time, hopefully helping muscle aches, productivity, heart health, glucose levels, and much more.
And you don’t even need to buy one yourself to try it out and see how you’d reap the benefits. With Anyplace, you can rent an apartment that already comes furnished with a standing desk plus a fully equipped workspace.
Pro tip: Be sure to check in with your feet once in a while. Wear supportive shoes or stand on a soft surface. A great way to utilize a standing desk is to stand for intervals of the day. Refrain from pressuring yourself into standing for every second of your eight-hour workday. That can be tough.
The bottom line? A standing desk is a terrific way to realize health benefits while simultaneously earning a salary. And that’s something to stand for!
Where to next? Find monthly rentals designed for remote workers on Anyplace.
Freelance writer and globetrotter—Kelsey will only travel and work in places where she can watch hockey online (basically anywhere in the world). A content writer since 2017, she covers topics related to being a digital nomad or hockey.