Thomas Jefferson. Ernest Hemingway. Charles Dickens – what do they all have in common?
All preferred to work standing! Whether it was to ease back pain or stimulate the creative juices, many prominent members of the human race fashioned their own standing workstations before it was ever “a thing.”
In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of standing desks in the workplace; partly instigated by a deluge of media reports on the health dangers of sitting and partly because employees are physically uncomfortable from all the sitting their computer dependent jobs require. For proof of the trend’s popularity, look no further than tech giant Fast Company.
Here an employee turned a year-long experiment of transitioning to a standing desk into one of the company’s most read blog posts of 2014. The final verdict? Standing for 8 hours a day (alternated with leaning thanks to a Lotus Seat toward the end of the experiment) improved her posture, removed her lower back pain and enhanced her overall work enjoyment. In this article, we’ll review some of the most commonly reported benefits of standing desks:
Health experts claim weight gain gradually happens from consuming too many calories and a reduction in activity. It’s been scientifically verified that sitting causes a decrease in heart rate and calories burned, while standing does the opposite. Reportedly, standing burns an average of 0.7 calories per minute more than sitting. Although that may not seem like much, it slowly adds up – translating to 50 calories burnt an hour, 30,000 calories burnt a year (if standing for three hours a day, five days a week) and around 8lb of fat burnt a year!
Reduced Back Pain
We’re not sure what it is about sitting at a desk, and typing at a computer, that makes people unconsciously assume their best t-rex postures, but it happens. One of the primary benefits of standing while working is the pressure taken off the neck and upper-back. Most people seem to notice an immediate difference after switching and enjoy the benefits that come with increasing strength in back muscles. With that said, others have reportedly noticed more lower back pain after standing all day. Experiment to determine what works best for you.
You know that sleepy feeling you sometimes get in the middle of a particularly monotonous work assignment? Well, that doesn’t seem to happen as much with a standing desk. Since your muscles are engaged you’re much more likely to stay alert. You can also shift from side to side, move around and easily take routine breaks to stay engaged. Since science has proven our minds are actually in our bodies (not just our brains), the reported creative benefits of standing may also have credence.
As you can see, there are many reasons to stand while you work. But does everyone need to stand ALL day? We don’t think so. As as an interior solutions provider for 20+ years, we don’t believe in “one-size-fits-all” solutions.
While standing for 8 hours might work great for one person, a good ergonomic chair with routine walk breaks might work better for another. There’s a famous saying propagated by ergonomists – your best posture is your next posture. With that said, building movement into office routines can be achieved in many ways outside of standing desks.
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