Chronic pain affects at least 1.5 billion people all over the world. Of these individuals, 100 million are in the United States. Worse, many of them have high-impact chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for at least three months.
Health issues, such as arthritis and nerve pain, are the top culprits behind chronic pain. However, researchers have discovered that posture also contributes to or worsens pain conditions.
This means that bad postural patterns, such as slouching, can put you at a severe risk of chronic pain.
Fortunately, one of the benefits of standing desks is that it promotes better posture. Proper posture, in turn, can help minimize your risks of painful conditions.
Promoting a better posture is only one way that these standing desks can benefit you, though. There are many other ergonomic benefits of a standing desk, some of which we’ve listed below.
1. Better Posture Can Help Lower Risks of Musculoskeletal Pain
Posture refers to the position in which you hold your body as you stand, sit, or lie down. It also has to do with your body’s alignment when you bend, twist, stretch, or reach out for something.
With that said, having a good posture means that your body maintains proper alignment. An example is sitting without an excessive slouch but with the shoulders relaxed. For standing, this means the back remains straight, with the shoulders pulled backward.
By contrast, a poor posture can be any position that places a lot of strain on the postural muscles. For instance, it can be bending for long periods of time or sitting with the shoulders slouched. Standing without bending the knees a bit, or letting the head fall to on one side can also lead to bad posture.
Over time, the unnecessary strain caused by bad posture can make the muscles more prone to injury. This can then result in musculoskeletal problems, the most common of which is back pain.
Sitting for long periods can make a person more prone to developing poor posture. Unfortunately, as many as half of adults in the US don’t feel “concerned” about this. That’s one likely reason that many of them end up suffering from back pain.
A standing desk can help prevent these posture woes, as it lets you stand while you work. This, in turn, helps ease the stress that sitting for long periods places on the postural muscles. The reduced strain on your muscles, in turn, helps lower your risks for back and muscle pain and injuries.
2. A Standing Desk Helps You Cut Back On Your Sitting Time
Researchers found that adults in the US spend an average of 6.5 hours sitting each day. That’s an increase of one hour from the count back in 2007. It’s even longer for teens, who now spend over 8 hours a day in their seats.
Bad posture aside, too much time spent seated m increase risks of diabetes. Inactivity from prolonged sitting may also raise obesity and heart disease risks. There’s also the elevated likelihood of deep-vein thrombosis and metabolic syndrome.
All these then highlight the potential health benefits of standing at your desk. One study did find evidence that standing can reduce blood sugar levels. Workers who remained standing for 1.5 hours had a 43% reduction in blood glucose levels.
Keep in mind that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels can help keep heart disease at bay. It’s also crucial for reducing your risks of vision loss and kidney problems.
3. Standing Helps Improve Blood Flow to the Legs
A recent study found that sitting for even only 10 minutes can already reduce blood flow to the legs. This, in turn, affects the small blood vessels that supply blood to the leg muscles. Lack of blood supply can then result in the weakening of the muscles.
This is why you should consider using a standing desk at work. By reducing your sitting time, you can prevent the risk of impaired blood flow in your legs. This may also help you avoid not only weak muscles but also cramps and strains.
4. Standing May Serve as a Reminder to Take Regular Work Breaks
Taking work breaks is crucial to remain productive, but more than half of workers in the US don’t take them. At the very least, many of them say they can no longer take proper lunch breaks due to their workload.
The thing is, sitting for extended periods can have a numbing effect on the body. However, once you do get up from a chair, you may feel weak or experience stabbing pains all over.
By contrast, standing while you work or study makes you more aware of what your body feels. This heightened awareness can then serve as a reminder for you to take breaks.
5. Taking Breaks From Sitting Can Help Maintain Brain Blood Flow
Some desks allow you to switch from a sitting to a standing position. Known as “sit to stand desks,” you can lower them to a sitting height or crank them up to a standing height. They offer an excellent way to alternate between the two positions from time to time.
One of the top reasons to switch between the two is so that you can bring yourself to take a break. As mentioned above, taking breaks can help you stay productive. According to researchers, one way they do this is by maintaining proper brain blood flow.
It appears that sitting for extended periods impairs the flow of blood to the brain. This was evident in the participants of a study, especially those who sat for four hours straight. However, such did not occur in those who stood up and took breaks every 30 minutes.
So, in a way, one of the benefits of stand up desks at work is to promote better brain blood flow. Taking proper breaks, after all, requires you to get out of your chair. A standing desk not only reduces sitting time but can also help keep your brain working optimally.
6. Standing Burns More Calories than Sitting
Exercise remains the best way to burn calories, but standing more often can also help. When you stand, your body burns more calories than if you sat for the same amount of time. That’s because standing requires more energy than simply sitting.
One study showed that standing at work burned an additional average of 0.15 calories per minute. That’s 0.2 calories for men, and 0.1 calories for women. Either way, this translates to about nine extra calories burned every hour.
That doesn’t seem a lot, but it does add up in the long term. If you choose to stand as you work even for just two hours every day, you could already burn 360 extra calories in a month. That’s way better than collecting more calories, which can happen if you spend a lot of your time sitting.
7. Can Help Minimize the Risks Associated With Non-Ergonomic Desks
The construction itself of non-ergonomic desks and chairs can promote poor posture. It can also give rise to other health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
These health woes usually occur because office furniture doesn’t account for varying physiques. They are “static,” offering only “one size” that doesn’t really fit all who would end up using them.
For example, people who are 5’2″ tall may have to force themselves to use a desk designed for someone who’s 5’6″. A person who’s 6’3″ may also have to slouch to work on such a low desk.
The great news is that you’ll now find height-adjustable standing desks. These are pieces of furniture that you can adjust the height of to fit the exact needs of the person who will use them.
With the use of standing desks, you can prevent overstretching, slumping, and hunching. They can also help keep your arms straighter instead of awkwardly curved or bent. This, in turn, may help prevent muscle strains and compressed nerves.
8. Better Moods and Higher Energy Levels
One study suggests that standing desks seem to have a positive effect on well-being. The researchers found that participants who used standing desks had improved stress levels. They also reported having reduced instances of fatigue.
Plus, almost nine in 10 standing desk users said they felt more energetic and vigorous.
9. May Help Keep Heartburns at Bay
Staying seated after eating may compress your abdomen. This pressure can then lead to an upheaval of gastric acids and juices. If this happens, you may experience heartburns.
If you eat while you stand, you can keep your abdomen free of unnecessary pressure. You may even find it easier to digest your meal.
If you don’t want to eat while standing, make sure that you at least stand right after your meal. This way, the waistband of your pants won’t dig into your abdomen.
Live Healthier and Work Better With These Benefits of Standing Desks
There you have it, some of the top benefits of standing desks that you definitely want to enjoy yourself. As you can see, they aren’t just a “hype”; science backs up their potential benefits. That should be enough to make you consider getting them for your office too.
If you’re looking for high-quality stand-up desks, our team here at Venace can help. For starters, please feel free to check out our selection of height-adjustable desks. You can also give us a call, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your inquiries.