The Benefits of Standing Up While Working

For many people, working in an office consists of hours and hours of sitting, rarely interrupted by a walk down the hall or to the pizza place next door. What is often dismissed as just another part of adult life has become a growing concern among doctors and scientists. Recent research suggests that spending a prolonged period in a chair every day can impact your health in more ways than one. To prevent that, more and more employers encourage their employees to spend at least a part of their work time standing up.

Why Prolonged Sitting Can Impact Your Health

It is not surprising that more and more developers choose to equip their employees’ offices with a standing desk. A growing body of evidence supports the assumption that spending the majority of your day sitting down is hazardous for your health. A sedentary lifestyle is proven to raise risks for obesity, diabetes, deep-vein thrombosis, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Other risks that have been associated with prolonged sitting are:

  • Slowed blood flow: spending a lot of time in a comfy office chair can cause your blood circulation to slow down. The lack of blood flow can then lead to a build-up of fatty acids in your blood vessels, which puts you at risk of developing heart disease.
  • Slowed metabolism: prolonged sitting can slow down your metabolism and lower your body’s ability to break down and burn fat by up to 90%. 
  • Higher risk of developing diabetes: unsurprisingly, because of this it is also linked to weight gain and insulin resistance, therefore leading to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Why you should stand up for work

Working at standing desks can help prevent these health issues, while also improving your workday:

Staying concentrated and productive

Multiple studies have shown that standing at work can also improve productivity by offering a much-needed change from the usual office environment. Because it creates a sense of novelty, it can also help employees to stay concentrated.

Reducing back pain and keeping a straight posture

A bad posture while sitting is one of the main factors for chronic back pain. Especially your lower back pays the price for all of those hours spent bending over your office desk. Standing up reduces the strain on your lower back muscles by keeping your posture straight and putting weight on your legs and feet.

Improving your mood and mental health

Unsurprisingly, being able to work concentrated and without being distracted by an aching back also often increases employees’ mood throughout the workday. Research also suggests that the option to switch up your workday by being able to choose between sitting down and standing up may increase employee satisfaction and boost their mental health.

Keep in mind: However healthy standing up while working can be – switching from sitting for multiple hours to standing multiple hours from one day to the next can cause quite a lot of discomfort due to the unfamiliar strain. Experts recommend starting with 30 to 60 minutes at a time, slowly increasing the standing period every day.

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