Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Here is what science, and myself as a recent convert, have to say.
I bought a convertible standing/sitting desk this past weekend from IKEA, without doing the research on it.
I finally decided it was time, after popping by a business friend’s home for tea, and he showed me his office and convertible standing desk.
He raved about it for a solid 5 minutes, and I was fully convinced by the time I left his apartment.
I know it’s better for me — many people before my friend told me it was, but I didn’t bother to look up the facts, I sort of just took people’s word for it.
I’m like that. I tend to trust people at their word. Sometimes it gets me into trouble.
Which is somewhat silly, considering how big a purchase this desk was.
So, after the fact, I’m doing my research. I hear that standing desks are better for me… but how much better?
I’m burning more calories in a day.
The number isn’t dramatic. I’m not going to get away with dropping 10 pounds between now until my wedding solely by using my standing desk (dammit, I was really hoping that would be the case).
From a Harvard study, subjects who sit while typing burn 80 calories per hour.
Those who stand while typing burn 88 calories per hour.
That’s only an increase of 8 calories per hour, but it’s still an increase, minor as it is.
There is also increased mobility through standing, which allows for me to do important professional things like dance to my Daily Spotify Mix while checking emails, and stretching as I proof or edit a piece of content for a client.
You know — important stuff for a professional writer to do at any given time.
I will likely reduce my overall shoulder and back pain.
Chat with my osteopath about my new standing desk, and she’ll probably cheer for joy.
Ever since I started working for myself 3 years ago, my shoulder and back pain have been a real problem.
I work from home, and may sit in the same place for upwards of 4-5 hours at a time.
No team meetings, no real lunch breaks, no reasons to get up and pop into a coworker’s cubical. Just me, myself and I, staring at a screen, answering calls, typing away.
All. Day. Long.
So if there’s a way to increase the quality of blood flow in my body, and decrease the chances of slumping, slouching or straining as I sit in my office chair, that’s great!
Bring on the release of body strain! I’m too damn young to have severe back pain.
I will keep my blood sugar in check.
Another health benefit shows that after eating, those who stand will see their blood sugar return to normal quicker than those who immediately sit.
Why does this matter?
Elevated blood sugar levels are a dangerous health factor. The most well-known problem is diabetes, others include “hyperglycemia”.
Hyperglycemia is developed through persistently high glucose levels. It can leave one feeling hungrier than they actually are, because the cells aren’t getting enough nutrients, create a sense of thirstiness or dehydration, and can leave one with a lack of energy.
You read that correctly — sitting all day can possibly make you feel more tired than standing half of the day.
In light of my new investment, which I must say after a full work day I feel was a wonderful purchase, I also looked up the best practices for using a standing desk.
The general rule of thumb? When you have energy, stand. When you’re tired, sit.
Experts suggest alternating every hour or so between sitting and standing. I foresee that I will start and end my days standing, and in the middle, when I often bring lunch to my desk, I will sit.
Meetings also feel more comfortable sitting, rather than standing, but that’s just my preference.
Have you considered getting a standing desk? Is that option available at your workplace?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!