Standing desks and treadmill desks are a relatively new fad, but they are one that is undoubtedly making its impression. These styles of desks are drawing attention for their vast array of health benefits as more and more studies are being conducted on the scientific relevance of standing versus sitting. Desks like these allow the user to get more time being active rather than remaining sedative and, as such, gives them the opportunity to increase their likelihood of staying healthy longer. With standing desks and treadmill desks becoming more readily available in retailers and online, it is becoming more prudent to be informed about what makes these desks so helpful.
Improves Work Productivity
Productivity can be difficult when you are stuck sitting at a desk all day. Being stagnant in your position can cause your mind to stagnate very similarly, which can lead to slower production and a lack of drive to accomplish the tasks of the day. However, if you are standing or walking while remaining at your desk, you are not allowing yourself and your brain to become lethargic because you are actively engaged in keeping yourself upright or in keeping yourself walking. Engaging your body in this constant activity gives your mind the ability to go into a similar state and improves work productivity overall. It should be noted, however, treadmill desks may not work for individuals who struggle with multi-tasking. In those cases, a standing desk may be the preferable option.
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Reduces Back And Chronic Pain
Back pain is an issue plaguing many individuals who spend their days at their desks. This is because they are often in chairs unequipped to help them with their posture. If individuals do have ergonomically suited chairs, they tend to sit in them incorrectly. Over time, this can lead to immense strain on the back and result in back pain. Standing or walking, however, allows more opportunity for the patient to elongate their spine, reducing the stress that can build up, and relieve their pain. Previous research has pointed to the way sitting increases the load on lumbar discs, and it is important to note sitting puts pressure on the spine because of the sustained contracture of the abdominal and hamstring muscles, which creates an imbalance in the lower back. That said, standing only reduces back and chronic pain if you make sure to correct your posture and understand how to stand optimally.
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Weight Loss & Reduces Weight Gain
This may be a simple concept to understand, but it was actually not until a recent study that it was found standing burns more calories than sitting. While this may be a minute amount, there are ways to increase this number through the purchase of a treadmill desk. Treadmill desks, unlike standing desks, prompt constant movement, thereby burning more calories than you would by merely standing. If a treadmill desk is too much motion for you, however, it is still thought standing has its benefits to weight loss and reducing weight gain. This is because individuals are more likely to be moving when they are standing than when they are sitting. The difference between the calories burned sitting and standing is minimal—only 0.15 calories according to the study performed in late 2017—but it can make a significant difference over time.
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Lowers Blood Sugar And Cholesterol
A standing desk or treadmill desk also lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. A study was conducted in 2015 where office workers were asked to stand for 185 minutes after lunch. Participants were found to have reduced blood sugar levels of forty-three percent when compared to sitting during the same period. Another study found overweight office workers who alternated between standing and sitting every thirty minutes reduced blood sugar by an average 11.1 percent. Thus, there is clearly a correlation between standing and lowering blood sugar spikes that may result after eating. This can not only contribute to overall well-being; it can also lower the risk of diabetes, as those with high spikes in blood sugar have a much higher risk of becoming diabetic.
Cholesterol is a significant contributor to heart disease, and a sedentary lifestyle has been found to have the same impact. Studies conducted on individuals who spent most of their day standing and those who spent most of their day sitting found sedentary lifestyles are linked to a ninety percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 147 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular events—such as heart attacks—when compared to an active lifestyle.
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Improves Life Expectancy
There have been many studies conducted that look at the impacts that a sedentary life or a life spent sitting at a desk can have on the health of an individual. Individuals who spend their lives sitting at a desk without any outlet for movement or activity are more likely to have obesity as well as type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. As a result, there is a good chance that it can lead to a reduced life expectancy. Standing, then, actually improves life expectancy while reducing the risk of all of these different diseases and ailments. While there is no definitive correlation between life expectancy and standing desks or treadmill desks, it is easy to understand why an active lifestyle and an effort to be more active would have a positive impact on one's longevity.