are standing desks better than sitting

If you’re trying to improve your health and you have a desk job, as many people do, you may have considered a standing desk. Standing desks are all the rage, but are standing desks healthier than sitting? Yes, and no. 

We’ll explain the health benefits and risks of standing versus sitting and whether it’s worth it to purchase one. 

Is Standing Really Healthier Than Sitting?

Rubberwood Sit Stand Desk

Using desks for standing has several health benefits, including:

It reduces the chances of gaining weight and developing obesity.

Your body can burn calories easier when standing than when you’re sitting. A Mayo Clinic study showed that people who stood at least 25% of the time had a lower body fat percentage than those that sat the whole time. 

It lowers your chances of developing heart disease.

Choosing to use a standing desk instead of sitting lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and keeps weight off. All this helps decrease your risk of heart problems. 

It helps lower the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Breaking up sitting with standing, or even just walking for 5 minutes, can reduce blood sugar levels by 34%, especially in postmenopausal women. 

Standing lowers your long-term risk of death.

Research shows that not only can being sedentary lead to diabetes and heart disease; it can also lead to untimely death. One study suggested you could raise your life expectancy by two years if you reduce your daily sitting time to three hours. 

Standing helps reduce your chances of getting cancer.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, inactivity can cause higher risks of 3 types of cancers. Those who sit a lot, even those who exercise regularly, have a higher risk of developing cancer. Standing up throughout the day gets your circulation moving and reduces inflammation and other things that increase cancer risk. 

Standing can help ease or reduce chronic pain in the back.

Researchers have found that workers who use sit-stand desks are more likely to report pain-free days. Another study found that switching from a seated to a standing position every 30 minutes during the workday helps to reduce fatigue and back pain in obese or overweight people. 

Does Standing Help Strengthen Your Back?

Standing doesn’t help strengthen your back, but it can help reduce back discomfort. According to one study, patients who used a standing desk and took part in counselling to improve sedentary behavior reduced their back pain significantly compared to a control group with neither intervention. 

woman experiencing back pain

How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk?

If you’re going to use a standing desk or an adjustable desk, start with standing for 30 to 60 minutes a day and gradually increase it. This way, your body gets used to standing for prolonged periods. Consider setting a timer to remind you when to sit or stand. 

Many of these desks feature electric controls so that workers can easily adjust the height as needed. 

In addition, if you’ve hurt your back outside the office, you may be better off using a sitting desk until it’s healed, or at least standing only for short periods.

Is It Bad To Use A Standing Desk All Day? 

Yes, it is bad to use a standing desk all day. Even with all the benefits standing offers, too much standing can be bad. It’s best to get a good balance of both standing and sitting. We've covered this in more detail in our post about using a standing desk all day.

Though standing has a lot of benefits, it doesn’t do much to help lower your risk of heart disease, and sitting for too long can cause several health issues, including:

Problems With the Spine and Lower Back

Prolonged sitting stresses the spine and joints, particularly the shoulders and hips, especially if sitting incorrectly. If you have to sit, sit with a good posture to reduce your chances of developing back problems or sciatica. Using a standing desk instead of conventional desks reduces back and neck pain as you can adjust your desk to the perfect height for you.

Heart Disease

Reduced physical activity contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of both men and women. Prolonged sitting causes the flow of blood to the legs to decrease. It also affects blood sugar levels and blood pressure because it changes how blood vessels function.

Gaining Weight and Becoming Obese

There is a link between prolonged sitting and weight gain and a very close connection to diabetes. One hundred years ago, movement was a constant part of our lives. However, now we move less because technology has made things easier. 

Cancer

The act of sitting at a desk all day and being sedentary both appear to contribute to cancer risk.

Remember that not sitting can mean many things. You could take brief breaks for activity, sit on an exercise ball, fit disk or wobble stool, or make your commute to work active by walking for part of it. 

Is It Worth It to Get a Standing Desk?

Yes. Adjustable sit-stand desks allow you to change the height of your desk as needed so you can enjoy a more active workspace where you can stand, sit, lean, and stretch naturally while adjusting the desk height quickly.

The Desky Dual Scalloped Sit Stand Desk can be placed against a wall or with a desk opposite while not restricting the position of accessories like monitor arms. The dual motors in this desk provide 140kg of lift, which is enough to support the most complicated workstation, and the frame is the most stable on the market. 

It has a height range of 60 to 125 cm, so it accommodates a wide range of individuals sitting or standing.

The LED controls let you adjust the desk with a push of a button. You can program 4 different settings to save your favorite heights easily.

home office sit stand desk

Do You Burn More Calories With a Standing Desk?

According to research, you can burn a few more calories standing than sitting. Researchers found that standing burns an additional 0.15 calories per minute on average compared with sitting. The average man burns 0.2 extra calories per minute when standing, twice the amount most women burn.

That means that a 140-pound person would burn 54 more calories if they stood all day instead of sitting. That probably won’t help someone lose weight, but it can help prevent weight gain. 

Which Is Worse, Sitting vs Standing All Day?

According to one study, being on your feet all day is twice as bad as sitting for your heart. However, sitting throughout the day has negative health impact; it can raise your risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

A combination of both standing and sitting is ideal, which is why an adjustable standing desk is an excellent investment for anyone trying to improve their health. Sitting for long periods or standing for extended periods have negative health implications.

If you’re considering buying a sit-stand desk, think about how you want to incorporate it into your routine. The best way to use an adjustable standing desk is to stand for a while, sit, then stand again. Do this several times during the day. 

To start, stand for 30 minutes, a few times a day. Add an hour, then two or more as you feel comfortable. Your overall health will improve as you reduce your prolonged sitting time.

When you move the desk to a standing position, align your body correctly. Your head, neck, and spine should be straight when you stand, and make sure you bent your elbows at 90 degrees when you stand. Put your computer monitor level with your eyes, wear comfortable shoes with low or no heels, and use a cushioned mat for support. 

Once you’ve found the best adjustable sit-stand desk for you and you’ve got the correct alignment, you’ll be able to sit and stand at your desk easily and comfortably. Try our wide range of office desks today!

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