If you’re working in an office, chances are you may have seen or even used a height adjustable desk. These desks have become a crucial benefit in workplaces around the world. Many studies have shown that sitting for long periods is detrimental to your health. Even if you exercise a lot when you are not sitting, your health can still be at risk because of sitting down for long periods.
For many office workers, a workday involves sitting for many hours without getting up for long periods. Today we don’t even have to get up to talk to colleagues, because most of us are working from home. So, there are even fewer reasons to get up and move a little.
That’s why many offices began to invest in height adjustable desks that allow you to work standing up. But the real question is: can they benefit your health? We have looked closer at the benefits of adjustable height desks, and here’s what we have found.
How Many Hours in the Chair Are Too Many?
Besides office or school hours, we spend more and more hours sitting during our free time. We’re sitting while watching television, playing video games, reading, or scrolling through social media apps.
Health experts link sitting more than six hours a day with having a higher body mass index. A sedentary lifestyle also increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and other diseases such as diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding a sedentary lifestyle by introducing regular physical activity for those who have to sit for most of their workday.
Another common health problem associated with sitting at work is back pain. Our spine is designed to support the weight of our body. When sitting for a long time, it loses its primary function, and usually, we do not sit in the correct position. This incorrect posture results in lower back pain.
But the average workday lasts eight hours, and even four hours of sitting can be tremendous to our health. What should we do then? Is there something we can change? The answer is yes. There are lots of things you can do to improve your health. First of all: regular breaks. Take a five-minute break every hour. Stand up, go somewhere else, stretch a bit, or do a little exercise. Next, make sure to walk at least 10,000 steps every day or do any other physical activity for 30 minutes. Last but not least—invest in an adjustable height desk.
What Is an Adjustable Height Desk?
A standing desk or an adjustable height desk allows you to stand up while working. Since it’s height-adjustable, you can change its height and switch between sitting and standing to help improve your posture and avert any back pain. Electric standing desks work with the push of a button. Other models include a crank, so you can adjust the height by moving it manually.
Standing while working can have an enormously beneficial impact on your health and body, and it’s not difficult to do so with the right equipment. An adjustable height desk lets you switch between sitting and standing. Not only does it improve your health, but it also may boost your productivity.
Here are six reasons why you should switch to an adjustable height desk:
1. An Adjustable Height Desk Helps You to Stay Active
The question is not whether height adjustable desks are better than the traditional ones or not. The key is that spending too many hours sitting in one position for a prolonged length of time is terrible for your health. Working a few hours on your feet means that you’ll be more active, as well as going up and downstairs, taking breaks, and changing posture.
These desks offer an alternative to a prolonged sedentary lifestyle. Although spending too many hours on your feet can also be counterproductive for people who suffer, for example, from back pain. But the key here is to find the right balance that fits you. For instance, you could switch standing and sitting positions every two hours or less to keep your body moving.
2. It Can Reduce the Risk of Obesity
The key to losing weight and staying fit is burning more calories than you consume. Researchers of the University of Chester have found that standing can help you to burn extra calories, which are responsible for weight gain. They also found that working on your feet can help you burn up to 170 calories, which means ‘burning’ about 1,000 calories in a week.
3. An Adjustable Height Desk Minimizes Your Risk of Heart Disease
Sitting all day can increase your chance of heart disease by up to 147%. The risk is so high that experts say an hour of vigorous exercise may not be enough to compensate. Thus, a standing desk can cut the risk of cardiovascular disease in half.
4. Improves Cognitive Performance and Productivity
Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed how different people worked in groups. They found that those who worked standing were more enthusiastic, flexible, and productive than those who worked seated. That’s because working while standing activates the metabolism, which increases the amount of oxygen reaching the brain, stimulating neural connections and cognitive functions.
5. An Adjustable Height Desk Can Prevent Back Pain
80% of adults will experience back pain in their lifetime. It is one of the biggest complaints from office workers who sit around all day.
Scientists have conducted additional research to determine whether standing desks could improve this. Participants have reported an improvement of up to 31% in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks. Additionally, the researchers found that using a sitting and standing desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just four weeks. Sitting for long periods can strain your muscles and hurt your lower back, especially if you have poor posture.
6. An Adjustable Height Desk May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Several studies link extended periods of inactivity with various forms of cancer. This research shows that sitting is responsible for as many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer every year in the U.S.