If you’re like lots of Americans, including us, you spend a whole lot of time sitting at a desk during your work day. (Hey, we’re busy!) And while many people have heard of standing desks, when you start to check out all the health and wellness benefits they offer, it’s actually surprising how few of us actually own one or ask our employers to get us one.
That’s why we’re pleased to welcome our newest sponsor Fellowes, makers of the Lotus DX Workstation, a smart choice for both employers and those of us work-at-home folks who want a functional, healthier workspace.
What we really love is that it allows you to actually convert whatever desk you already own into a smart, sit-stand workstation. No assembly required, no huge investment. How awesome is that?
So on their behalf, we researched 5 surprising benefits of standing desks — they even surprised us!
Whether you spend your time sitting at a desk in an office, or at your kitchen table at home, take a read and see if you think it’s time to make a change. And hey, they’re great for kids too.
1. Standing desks can improve your overall health: Blood sugar, obesity risk, even cancer.
You’ll find no shortage of studies that say sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health, like this research that was presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research conference. Long periods of sitting have been linked to breast and colon cancer (yikes), as well as increased risk for obesity and blood sugar issues.
Keep in mind that these studies describe the problems with sitting, not necessarily the benefits of standing. But if you’re sitting for most of your day, it’s not a big leap to think about how to get on your feet more — and that’s something a standing desk can help you achieve without even changing your work routine.
2. You can improve your posture. Yes you, the person slumped over your computer reading this.
We’ve heard that the pervasive slump in front of the computer is now described as the “American Battlecry.” Ouch. And yet, it’s pretty spot on. For many of us, our posture has grown increasingly worse over the years due to the many hours we now spend looking down at a computer screen. (Do we need to commiserate over our chiropractor bills?)
One of the easiest ways to help alleviate posture issues is to be sure your computer is situated at face height, with your keyboard raised up. That’s something that a standing workstation like the Lotus DX Workstation can fix easily. Of course you do need to ensure you’re using proper standing posture at a standing desk too — that’s up to you!
About our sponsor
With the Fellowes Lotus DX Workstation, you can turn any desk into a sit-stand.
While the sleek waterfall design neatly holds your monitor and keyboard, the Lotus DX Workstation does so much more. USB ports offer you the ability to connect your monitor and keyboard, while wireless Qi charging handles all your mobile devices. Plus, it provides plenty of room for notepads, your coffee mug, a pen or two, a stapler, or whatever you need to maximize your space and get the job done.
With 22 different height settings including 17 inches of vertical adjustment, you can adjust your workstation to best suit your height. And you’ll even get protection against bacteria with Microban antimicrobial production.
Best of all, there’s no need to purchase any other equipment or find a ton of new space to accomodate a large standing desk. After over 100 years in office design, Fellowes has designed the Lotus DX Workstation to allow you to affordably convert any existing desk into a standing workstation, so easily — it even comes fully assembled.
3. You burn calories. (Though it’s not the same as a walking a mile.)
You may have heard that you burn more calories at a standing desk than a traditional sitting desk, and it’s true. That’s what one Harvard Medical School website editor revealed, thanks to 2016 research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
Now admittedly, the difference between merely sitting and standing is just 8 calories. However, when standing, you’re much more likely to move around, squat, stretch, reach, and walk if you’re at a standing desk.
So while standing while you work may only help you burn a few more calories, it does give you up to the opportunity to burn a whole lot more than you might when you’re stuck in a chair with a limited range of motion. Especially if you’re more likely to walk around from time to time, which is where the real calorie-burning comes in.
4. A standing desk can offer pain relief: Back, neck, legs…the list goes on.
If you suffer from back, neck or leg pain, you have probably heard (or learned first-hand) that sitting can exacerbate your symptoms. That’s why why those people who experience frequent pain often respond so positively to switching to a standing position while they work.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, have a short term condition (we remember that pregnancy sciatica, ugh), or are dealing with chronic back or leg pain, a standing desk can be a smart way to help you increase movement and flexibility and work more ergonomically, to help you avoid additional strain.
5. You may live longer. Seriously.
If you’re not convinced just yet about the health benefits standing desk, you’ll definitely want to read about this study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that’s summarized on the Harvard Medical School blog. Because, wow.
The line that grabbed us: “The more hours women in the study spent sitting at work, driving, lying on the couch watching TV…the greater their odds of dying early from all causes, including heart disease and cancer.”
So while standing is not a replacement for exercise, a standing desk can be an incredibly practical option that helps get us off our bottoms, standing and moving — especially for those of us who sometimes find ourselves too busy at work to just…get up.
And of course, we’re not doctors and this is not to be taken as medical advice; if you’ve got health concerns, always be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine.