Working from home is a benefit that many office workers enjoy. However, studies have shown that sitting all day can increase the risk of health issues. To combat these risks, a standing desk is an excellent choice for home office workers. For work-from-home professionals, a standing desk is one of the best investments for a healthy lifestyle and productive workspace.
Standing desks are linked to improved posture, increased energy levels, less stress, and even improved circulation to sitting for long periods. However, when it comes to purchasing an ergonomic standing desk, various options are available. For example, experts recommend adjustable desks with monitors mounted on arms and keyboards positioned properly for the best posture possible. Some companies even offer electric-powered stand-up desks that allow users to switch easily between sitting and standing positions throughout the day.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of a standing desk for home office workers and provide tips on how to find the right fit.
What is a Standing Desk?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, remote work has become more popular and a preferred work strategy for many employees. These remote workers are turning to work-from-home setups to help them stay productive, but they also come with some health benefits. A standing desk is a piece of office furniture that allows you to stand while you work instead of sitting in a chair.
Standing desks come in different styles and sizes, with some featuring adjustable heights so that people of all heights can comfortably use them. While having a standing desk is nice, finding the right one for your space can be challenging. So, let’s address the standing desk benefits.
What are the Health Benefits of Standing Desks?
Research indicates that prolonged periods of sitting can negatively impact your health. According to WebMD, prolonged sitting at a desk job can elevate the risk of heart disease, raise the chances of developing dementia, and decrease lifespan.
A home office arrangement that promotes relaxation and efficiency is becoming more crucial. To achieve this, having a standing desk is essential for an enhanced remote work setup. Integrating more standing periods into your work-from-home schedule can improve your posture and physical well-being. In addition, a sit-stand desk can half the risk of getting ill.
Decreased Pain from Bad Posture
On average, office workers sit at their desks for around 9.3 hours daily. Poor desk posture can lead to discomforts, such as tight shoulders and creaking wrists. To prevent this from happening, standing up periodically throughout the day is recommended. Standing helps keep your body active and your joints loose, allowing you to shift positions and even adopt a dancing motion as you work on your computer or go through emails.
Sitting in a hunched position can lead to common back, neck, and discomforts. With a standing desk, you can avoid it by standing up while looking across your computer screen instead of looking down at it, which is the proper neck posture.
Reduces Back and Neck Pain
Although your chair and workstations may be comfortable and ergonomically correct, you will likely experience back, shoulder, or neck pain at some point during your workday. According to a study by the CDC, 54% of participants who used a standing desk for at least part of the day reported a significant reduction in back and neck pain after four weeks. But, remarkably, when someone returns to their stand up desk, they experience pain or neck strain after only two weeks.
Ergonomics and Better Posture
Are standing desks beneficial for your health? Absolutely! These desks are essential for correcting poor posture, common among office workers who tend to slump and slouch while using a traditional desk. Standing desks aim to address this issue.
Standing desk users can significantly improve their posture by adjusting their height and promoting active sitting. When you’re standing, your body naturally stays in a more upright position, which puts less strain on your neck and spine. It will also help reduce the fatigue that comes from sitting too long.
Reduces the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
Working from home comes with a higher risk of gaining weight and becoming overweight. This is because you’re likely to snack more due to not being in an office environment and having access to unhealthy food choices at all times. While this may be difficult to avoid, using a standing desk can help by burning extra calories throughout your workday.
Increases Energy and Improves Mood
Your body turns food into energy through metabolism. Physical activity affects how quickly or slowly you metabolize food. If you are less active, your body needs less fuel, and your metabolism slows down. For example, sitting for just 30 minutes can cause your metabolism to slow down by about 90%.
Although sitting doesn't require significant energy, it can slow your metabolism. A slow metabolism can affect the enzymes that remove harmful fat from your arteries. The Mayo Clinic states that sitting for more than six hours per day without physical activity poses a similar risk of premature death as smoking or obesity.
May Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Your body breaks down the food you eat after lunch into glucose, a necessary fuel for your body. It's important to note that too much glucose for an extended period is unhealthy. It's better for you if your blood sugar levels decrease quickly back to their pre-meal level. Studies show that using a standing desk after lunch can reduce your glucose levels between 11.1% and 43% compared to sitting.
Without this option, some diabetic-related issues like a blood sugar spike and the increased risk of heart disease-related deaths. Overseeing your sugars will lower blood sugar levels.
May Increase Your Lifespan
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the longer you spend sitting, the more severe the health consequences. It can increase the risk of death and double the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Additionally, it may increase the risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, heart disease, depression, and anxiety. On the other hand, standing at a desk burns more calories than sitting, which can help counteract the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Standing can burn up to 88 calories per hour. After a tiring workday, it may be challenging to get active. However, standing for 30 minutes at various daily intervals can help reduce or delay the multiple health risks and hazards associated with being sedentary.
Boost Your Productivity
Poor circulation can restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to decreased brainpower and affecting the quantity and quality of work you produce. On the other hand, good circulation enhances focus and productivity.
Improving focus can boost productivity and lead to more efficient task completion and better results while promoting your feelings of accomplishment. Proper blood flow to the brain stimulates deeper thinking, contributing to this effect. Staying active and happy helps maintain a positive mood and mental health, leading to better blood flow compared to sitting all day. With a brighter outlook, you can also take advantage of other health benefits.
Types of Standing Desks
Instead of creating a list of various types of standing desks, we prefer to group them based on their function and style. You'll typically encounter three kinds of standing desks good enough to use in home and workplace settings.
Standing Desk Converters or Desktop Risers
If cost is keeping you from a standing desk, you can use a desktop riser to convert your existing desk into a standing one. A desktop riser is a second surface on your tabletop and elevates your workspace. You can choose between fixed-height or adjustable desktop risers; they are portable and smaller than a standing desk.
Although the desk riser and converters have a smaller footprint, they have limitations, such as a weight limit much lower than other standing desk options. So you'll have to decide whether a desktop riser best serves your situation or getting a standing desk is better.
Fixed-Height Standing Desk
In the past, many people have used modern fixed-height standing desks with no fancy features. These desks have a raised flat surface that cannot be adjusted once installed. They are less expensive than adjustable standing desks and tend to have a longer lifespan due to their lack of moving parts.
Height Adjustable Desks
A height-adjustable standing desk might be the right choice if you like the bells and whistles. The freestanding height adjustable desk is the most popular type of standing desk and for good reason. People have different sizes and body shapes, and using a standard desk height can cause ergonomic problems for most individuals.
An adjustable desk height allows for greater comfort and reduces the likelihood of back pain, stiffness, and eye strain. In addition, this helps convert from seated to standing positions while customizing the desk height to each user's needs.
There are four mechanisms that height-adjustable standing desks use to raise or lower the tabletop.
These mechanisms include:
- Electric Motors - which can be either single or dual-operated desks.
- Pneumatic or Gas Lifts - the easiest to operate.
- Mechanical - allows for precise control of the desk's height.
- Tech-Adjustable - which is a combination of fixed and adjustable.
Standing desks aren’t for everyone. However, for those who are serious about their health and productivity, investing in a good-standing desk can be an essential part of their workspace.
Use Ergonomic Standing Desks to Promote Better Health and Wellness
Using a standing desk with the proper ergonomics instead of sitting down can offer numerous benefits for anyone who does remote work. While many standing desks may be uncomfortable at first, they have well-documented health benefits. In addition, your employer may not have height-adjustable workstations available, but if you work from home or in a small office setting, you may have more control over your workspace.
When considering electric desks, the price is an important selling point. However, it's also important to consider how the desk will be powered. It's necessary to balance your preferences and practicality based on the available space. Remember to factor in the cost of the electricity and if you can access a power outlet. Overall, ergonomic standing desks are the perfect way to improve your well-being while working. With the right ergonomic standing desk, you can create a productive workspace that contributes to your overall well-being.