Did you know that sitting for long periods of time can severely increase your chances of getting a heart attack? According to a statement published by World Health Organization and the International Society and Federation of Cardiology, physical inactivity stands as an important risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. In fact, recent studies even suggest that inactivity ranks higher than obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure in causing heart disease among individuals older than 30 years today. Without doubt, living a sedentary lifestyle has serious consequences.
In addition… Did you also know that inactivity isn’t just wreaking havoc on your body, but on your mind as well? In a study of the healthiest workplaces in Britain, it was revealed that stationary lifestyles can be more detrimental to staff productivity than poor diet and alcohol consumption. Yikes! Not only that, it has been shown in reports from the World Heart Federation and Global Advocacy for Physical Activity (GAPA) that inactivity reduces one’s concentration and focus too. Combine those elements and you’ll see how employers everywhere are losing millions annually to low work productivity and absenteeism.
Luckily, it’s never too late to get active and stop all the negative effects that plague a sedentary lifestyle. It all starts with when you introduce a healthier working condition for your staff. I’ll admit, that sounds like a tall order in itself… yet today’s vastly improved business technology and a more open-minded workforce has made it possible for cutting edge companies to take a step in the right direction. One of the intriguing yet promising innovations that has been getting a lot of buzz lately is the use of standing desks. And even though you can easily doubt the hype surrounding sit-stand desks, it’s hard to argue with facts.
So without further delay and now that I’ve got your attention... allow me to share these 5 shocking facts about standing desks:
1) Standing Desks Actually Make You Smarter -
Have you ever wondered why slouching or sitting idly for hours make you feel like dozing off? The reason why we feel that is simple: bad posture and a lack of activity signal our body and brain to slow down. In fact, both of these factors can zap so much energy from us that we’ll often feel tired mentally (even physically) after every shift even if there wasn’t that much work!
This is where standing desks and good ergonomics come in. With such a humble innovation that forces you to switch between standing and sitting… it becomes easy for you to maintain a high level of focus and alertness so you can get the job done effectively. Plus, you won’t easily get lost in your own thoughts or slack off like most of us tend to do when sitting idly.
2) Sit to Stand May Actually Help You Live Longer -
Health experts and the facts have spoken: the act of sitting down for extended periods of time is killing us. In fact, studies have shown that sitting for 6+ hours a day makes you 40% likelier to die sooner than someone who sits less than 3 hours (even if you exercise).
Because standing desks promote physical activity and keep us from indulging in that “health destroying habit”, it’s safe to say that they not only make us more productive in the office, they also grant us a longer lease on life.
3) May Help Reduce Back Pain -
In a peer-reviewed article by John J. Triano, DC, PhD, and Nancy C. Selby, BS, we learn that back pain stands as one of the most common work-related injuries. In addition, they emphasized that such a debilitating condition is caused by common activities we do at work such as sitting on a chair for an extended period of time or lifting heavy gear. It goes without saying that anybody could become a victim of this dreaded and painful health problem.
To keep those back pains at bay, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) by Stanford University Researchers recommends the introduction of sit-stand desks in the workplace. In fact, that particular study reported that employees who use standing desks were 78% more likely to report a back pain-free day compared to those using conventional workstations.
4) They Help You Burn More Calories -
It’s easy to see that you don’t burn that many calories when you’re simply sitting. Yet the opposite may be the case when you spend your days at work standing up. According to the BBC News article, Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?, you burn as much as 50 calories/hour by simply standing.
While that figure may not seem much, it does add up. In fact, if you stand up for 3 hours a day for the next 5 days, you’ll probably burn around 750 calories a week. Multiply that over the course of a year and you’ll end up shedding a sizeable 30,000 calories—a number that’s equivalent to running several marathons annually. And all you did to achieve that, surprisingly, was to use a standing desk.
5) Alternating Between Standing and Sitting Will Help Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
It’s been mentioned time and again that sitting does you no good… yet the same is true about standing all day! What you really want to do is to alternate between the two with the help of a sit-stand desk. This will ultimately help you reduce the health risks posed by both. You may be thinking right now, that’s great… but how does that help me prevent heart disease?
Simple—when you spend your workdays sitting and standing (instead of just one), you burn more calories, you stop being idle, and most importantly, you promote good circulation. Those three factors are essential to reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Now that you know about the benefits that sit to stand desks bring to the table (pun intended), it becomes our responsibility to think of ways we can incorporate such a game-changing innovation into our offices. After all, who wouldn’t want to work with a healthier, fitter, and smarter workforce?