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Without trying to break down the hundreds of articles that illustrate the benefits of standing desks, we want to ask you, the reader, to take part in a little study. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do much. If you’ve been sitting for 15 minutes, stand up and try to reach down and touch your toes; notice how you feel tightness in your lower back, maybe stiffness in your shoulders or legs? Now move around for 5 minutes. Walk to the other side of the room and come back. Try to touch your toes again. Did you notice that that tightness loosened up a little bit? The point is, human beings were never meant to be locked into a seated position for hours at a time.
Think about how often you are sitting down (especially for those of us who work in offices). We sit when we drive to work. We get to work and we sit down for 8-10 hours in the same position. We go home and we sit down to eat dinner, sit on the couch to watch TV, and then go to bed.
One of the best things we can do for our bodies doesn’t require a gym membership or a tailored diet. Before you join an expensive gym, sign up for the latest fad diet or go invest in a thousand dollar, NASA-designed lumbar supporting office chair, try this first…
It’s that simple. Take a break from the office chair and just stand up. You’ll surprise yourself with how good you feel and how much more energy you’ll have just by being on your feet, if only for a few hours a day. According to a 2013 article in The Washington Post1, “[standing desks lead to] a lower risk of obesity, cancer and death and also boost mood and alertness.”
The best way to ensure that you are able to stand up for an appropriate amount of time is to invest in a non-traditional desk. Below, you can see a video on the benefits of standing desks and why you should consider one for your office or home use.
Finding a Balance
To be clear, not sitting the entire workday is not the answer. There has to be a balance that is ideally 50/50 standing and sitting. How you want to break that up is up to you; listen to your body. Some people like to alternate standing and sitting every hour. Other people like to stand for 3-4 hours at a time then sit the remainder of the day. There is no perfect science that will tell you how long you should sit and stand. Let your body decide when it’s appropriate to sit, stand, and move around. In a 2014 Forbes article, Steven Salzberg states, “The newest claim is that standing up lengthens your telomeres (this is the part of human cells that affects how cells age). If true, this would provide a mechanism to explain how standing up might lengthen your life.” It stands to reason that standing not only helps with back pain, but it might be saving your life as well.
What Are The Main Standing Desk Benefits?
- You’ll burn calories – sitting for hours on end will restrict your body’s ability to burn calories. Standing can accelerate your metabolism and allow you to burn 1/3 more calories than sitting allows.
- You’ll have more energy – we mentioned metabolism. Sitting makes you feel tired and that can lead to poor results at work. When you stand, your energy levels rise and you will get more done (and impress your boss!).
- You’ll sleep better at night – remember that little exercise we did a minute ago? Sitting for hours a day causes back pain. Back pain leads to poor sleep. If you commit to breaking up time spent in a chair, you’ll improve your posture and you’ll begin to alleviate that nagging back pain. All this leads to longer, better sleep at night and more energy the next day.
- You’ll improve your mood – now, standing won’t fix the office gossiper or messy coworker whose papers always seem to creep towards your space. However, you might notice that when you feel better (both mentally and physically), you can brush off some of those office agitations that may have bothered you before.
How Do you Find The Proper Standing Desk Height?
Deciding to stand instead of sitting is half the battle. You can still develop bad habits at a standing desk if you don’t adjust it to the right settings. See below for a checklist that should allow you to maximize the benefits of a standing desk.
Standing Desk Checklist
- Make sure your standing desk allows you to stand at a comfortable, upright position
- Tilt your monitor so the center of the screen is at about shoulder height
- Place your keyboard where your elbows will relax at a 90 degree angle
- Forearms and hands should be parallel to the floor
- Find a good gel floor mat that will allow you to cushion your feet. Ideally, you will be able to take off your shoes while you’re standing.
What Are the Best Standing Desks?
Remember, there are plenty of options that will allow you to buy the perfect adjustable desk and some that that will allow you to make your own standing desk. For most people, having the ability to adjust your desk from standing position back down to a seated position, where you can work from your chair, is key. You’ll find some of our top picks for adjustable standing desks below:
Adjustable Standing Desks – Traditional Desks
- iCraze Standing Desk Adjustable Desk (View on Amazon)
- VARIDESK Pro Plus (Pictured to the right – View on Amazon)
Freestanding Adjustable Desks
- Crank Adjustable Height Sit to Stand Desk (View on Amazon)
- Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk (View on Amazon)
Invest In Your Health
Whether you work in an office or at home, the benefits of standing desks are too important to risk sitting for another year in the same chair you’ve sat in for years. Make an investment in your future and find out why millions of people are making the change to standing desks.
Source:  The Washington Post
How many hours a day do you think you are sitting?
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