Many Americans are taking their health into their own hands at the office. We aren’t talking about group fitness classes during lunch (although that’s never a bad idea!). We are talking about a very different way of combating the surge in sedentary work styles this modern age of technology has forced us into. We are talking about the standing desk trend that has made its way into many office and cubicles across the country.
While it may seem that the standing desk is nothing more than a new fad, utilizing standing desks dates all the way back to the 1400s. Leonardi da Vinci, who painted some of his most famous works of art while working at a standing desk, claimed standing while working allowed his creativity to flow. Thomas Jefferson, another original early adopter of this trend, was said to have ordered a custom, height adjustable desk from a cabinetmaker. So what did these famous figures know that millions of Americans are just learning today? There are significant physical and mental benefits to fighting the traditional work model of sitting at a desk all day.
So why the resurgence in the standing desk model of work? Over the past 50+ years, we have moved away from jobs in manufacturing and farming, where moderate movement was embedded in the job description. However, today’s working world looks quite different, and unfortunately, requires very little, if any, movement. In fact, almost 80% of today’s workforce is made up of “sedentary” jobs, where little to no movement (beyond sitting in front of a monitor and typing) is expected. Couple that with scientific evidence that shows the negative impact this is having on our overall physical and mental health, and it comes as no surprise that the standing desk is having its moment, and is here to stay.
Still a skeptic? Just ask any of your “standing” coworkers who have already adopted a standing desk about how it has changed their daily quality of life, and chances are, they will make a believer out of you. But let’s look at some of the facts associated with why a standing desk makes perfect and scientific sense and will make you eager to incorporate one so you too can start reaping the benefits.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the excessive amount of time we are spending sitting throughout our day is a real epidemic. Sitting has been called “the new smoking” when it comes to the wide range of health problems it can trigger. Studies have shown that prolonged sitting can increase the rates of heart problems and certain cancers compared to people who spend less time sitting. Chronic conditions including neck and back pain, headaches, poor circulation, and even weight gain are all associated with people who sit more and are therefore less physically active. Research has also shown that sitting at work increases the risk of depression and decreases energy.
Standing desks can directly reduce the multitude of negative outcomes associated with the prolonged periods of sitting we are often required to do on a daily basis. And the results aren’t just physical. Many who have already adopted a standing desk are experiencing increased focus, motivation, and overall mood improvements. Many offices are now offering the option of standing desks to their employees as part of their wellness programs, further evidence of the positive impact this trend is having on the workplace.
While adopting a standing desk may seem somewhat daunting, there are numerous styles and options available in today’s market. Many users opted to go electric – which enables the user to adjust the height of the desk to their perfect custom settings at the touch of a button – and allowing you to set up pre-programmed height preference for your personal needs.
The working world is changing rapidly, and there is an evolution of what the daily grind is looking like. As more companies realize they have a responsibility to provide for the overall wellness of their workers, the standing desk revolution makes perfect sense.
WHAT CAN A STANDING DESK DO FOR YOU?
1. Lowers Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity Spending a portion of your day working from a standing desk adds up to over 1000 additional calories burned per week
2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels: Alternating between standing and sitting throughout your workday can reduce the chances of your blood sugar spiking.
3. Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease: It is widely accepted that the more time you spend sitting, the greater your risk of developing heart disease.
4. Reduce Back Pain: Several studies show that standing desks can dramatically decrease chronic back pain caused by prolonged sitting
5. Improve Mood and Energy Less stress, less fatigue while increasing energy and vigor throughout the day.