Let’s take a stroll back a couple millennia. Early humans did not calculate numbers, write articles, or sell cars to provide for themselves and their families. And they certainly didn’t sit at desks all day. They survived through persistence hunting: walking, fast walking, running and tracking their prey until it was wholly exhausted. Our ancient ancestors did not sit down until that prey was roasted over the fire.
Our knowledge and manipulation of the world has (obviously) advanced since this time, but our bodies have actually done very little evolving. We are still engineered for persistence predation- we are designed to stand.
Sitting at a desk for 8 hours each day, 5 days a week, for decades on end ultimately has serious consequences on our body and health. The effects of sitting on the body have been studied heavily in recent years, and some of the findings, make you think twice about continuing your deskwork as normal. The human body is not made to withstand the constant pressure put on the musculoskeletal system when sitting. Ultimately, this seemingly restful position leads to the development of back & neck pain, as well as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In one study it was determined that “sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.” So if sitting causes all of these terrible outcomes, how can you prevent them? Simple, by doing the opposite: standing.
Note to designer, can we make a pop art graphic of a person afraid to the right of this paragraph? Maybe big eyes and hand over their mouth sort of thing?
Now, you may say, “Hold on! I don’t want any of that to happen, but my desk doesn’t adjust. I have to sit at it.”
The way around this conundrum is to use a sit-stand workstation. Notice how we said workstation, not desk. All desks are workstations, but not all workstations are desks. Several manufacturers have designed workstations to go on top of desks that securely hold all devices and adjust to standing height so that your body can stay healthy and avoid those dreadful consequences of sitting while you work.
Incorporating a sit-stand workstation into your daily routine affords you the ability to stand while you work, limiting and/or eliminating the potential to contract MSDs and bodily pain. However, studies have shown that using one of these can also have other positive health benefits as well.
– Studies show that an afternoon of standing at work could burn up to 174 additional calories compared to sitting, and can even lower blood sugar levels. Burning more calories helps the body to maintain a healthy weight. When this is achieved, the chances of person developing obesity are decreased. Just think, standing at your desk can help you to maintain or lower your weight. Getting that summer bod just got easier when you use a sit-stand workstation.
– When you stand, blood flow is increased and circulation improved, resulting in higher energy. In addition to higher energy, another study concluded that standing reduces neck and back pain and improved employees’ moods. Feeling better and having a positive outlook at work funnels into everything employees do, boosting not only company moral but increasing productivity by 10%! In fact, according to FF Venture Capital standing desks in their meeting rooms has led to sharing of more ideas and an increase in communication, which also leads to greater productivity.
– What does reduced stress, better circulation and lowered blood sugar achieve? Better. Hair. Don’t believe us? It’s scientifically proven, and our friends at Hair Loss Revolution have all the facts. You can read about it here:
Remember how we said that sitting is associated with dying earlier (right up there in the Scary Truth in case you missed it). If you stand more on a daily basis, your chances of living longer, even if only by a few months increases. Just an extra 30 minutes a day can help. In our opinion, that’s a golden motivation to get standing!
Check out this video to quickly see these benefits in action:
If you’re ready to take a stand against the traditional desk set-up, check out our blog post Introduction to the Standing Desk to learn about the different kinds available and find your best fit.
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