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DATE: 03/11/2016

Once a year, millions of people recommit themselves to a variety of goals. The most common?

Weight loss. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the desire to shed extra pounds ranks as the no. 1 New Year’s resolution, just above “getting organized” and “spending less; saving more.”

It’s understandable why many of us are looking for a little extra help with those resolutions – enter the sit-stand desk. Also called the adjustable height desk, the sit-stand offers the flexibility of being able to choose whether one sits or stands throughout the workday. They are generally available in three types: hand-cranked, hydraulic and electronic. As expected, there are several advantages and disadvantages to each.

Hand-cranks: Less expensive, but also less convenient

(ie. Less likely to change desk height throughout the day due to the manual labor involved).

Hydraulic: Quiet and elegant, but expensive/lacking usefulness

(ie. Can’t generally hold as much weight and lacks preset options of electronic desks).

Electronic: Sometimes expensive, but offer more options

(ie. Program preferred heights for precise adjustments).

Without a doubt, electronic desks are the most popular, reliable and cost-effective “sit-stand” option overall; ranging in price from $500 and up.

With that said – will they really help you lose weight?

Maybe. As reported by BBC News, a 2013 study found the hearts of participants using standing desks measured 10 beats faster per minute than when sitting. This equated to an additional 50 calories per hour burnt, which ultimately translated to 30,000 calories and 8lb of fat a year – when standing three hours a day for five days a week.

Of course, the idea that standing is good for you is nothing new. A well-known 1950s study, published in the Lancet, found bus conductors had approximately half the risk of developing heart disease as bus drivers. But, as with most health studies, these findings should be taken with a grain of salt, as there are often many factors that go ignored.

Today’s researchers take a prudent approach, advising a mixture of standing and sitting throughout the workday; obviously, this makes a sit-stand desk the ideal choice. While we can’t promise it will help you lose weight, we can promise you’ll love the flexibility of being able to work how you choose throughout the day.

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