Why a sit-stand desk could be the best health investment you make this year

Jane Lau

Standing desks, also known as sit-stand desks, have received a lot of attention in recent years. But are they worth the investment? In a word, yes! All the team at The Alignment Studio alternate between sitting and standing, and we recommend our office workers do too. Not convinced? Read on for the many benefits of sit-stand desks, and you’ll soon be adding one to your new year wish list!

You’ll burn more calories

Standing burns more calories than sitting, so switching things up and standing for periods throughout the day can help reduce your risk of weight gain. According to leading manufacturer of ergonomic solutions BakkerElkhuizen, the heart pumps around 10 times as much blood around your body if you alternate between sitting and standing, as opposed to sitting only. And you can burn approximately 145 calories in a few hours standing at your desk!

It’s not just about aesthetics either – maintaining a healthy weight plays a crucial role in avoiding the onset of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications.

You’ll reduce your risk of disease

Being sedentary – i.e. spending eight hours a day, five days a week sitting at your desk (!) – is akin to smoking when it comes to negative health impacts. Time and again, prolonged sedentary time has been linked to not only higher blood sugar, obesity and type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease and even some types of cancer.

According to Alpa Patel, PhD, strategic director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study 3: “Sitting time research is still in its infancy. We are trying to understand whether it’s the total amount that you sit or how frequently you break up those bouts of sitting that are most relevant to disease risk. While we continue to learn what is driving this relationship, it’s already clear that cutting down on the time you spend sitting has good consequences for your health.”

This reduction in sitting time at work can easily be achieved with the introduction of an adjustable sit-stand desk, as well as ensuring you take plenty of active breaks. Even if that’s just walking to a colleague’s desk rather than emailing.

Alternating between sitting and standing can reduce back pain

Sitting for extended periods can cause muscle tightness and increased tension in the lower back and even other parts of the body like the neck and upper back. For those with back pain that is aggravated by sitting, the ability to stand while at work gives significant pain relief.

Standing all day is not recommended either. As you fatigue from standing, you often start to adopt unfavourable postures, such as slouching to prop yourself up on the desk, or leaning towards one side/leg/elbow, which can lead to an increase in load and tension on that particular side.

Being able to be mobile and move from sitting to standing throughout the day helps with force/load distribution, and also helps maintain muscle length.

You’ll perform better at work

Proponents say the benefits of sit-stand desks extend beyond the health gains, citing higher energy levels, focus and productivity, as well as enhanced creativity. No surprise then that sit-stand desks are the go-to for tech giants Google, Apple and Facebook.

A sit-stand desk could even help you live longer!

Perhaps the most compelling potential benefit of a sit-stand desk relates to your life span. Published last year, one Deakin University study of 231 desk-based workers concluded that sit-stand desks could help save 7,492 ‘health-adjusted life years’ through prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Interested in purchasing a sit-stand desk or want to know more? Call our friendly team today on (03) 9650 2220.

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