Blog by Varidesk
At some point or another throughout our lives, we have all been told that sitting down too much is bad for our health – especially those of us who spend our days sat in an office. The term ‘sitting disease’ is becoming a more common phrase than ever as more people become ever more reliant upon technology to help us in our daily lives.
With more studies and reports each year, the list of serious health risks for sitting too much continues to increase. Risks can include obesity and weight gain as calorie burning and metabolism starts to shut down, as well as back and neck pain, low energy and productivity and depression. All of these can lead to many serious conditions in the future.
The American Journal of Epidemiology conducted a study in 2010 on the correlation between sitting and an individual’s physical health. The study confirmed that people who were reported sitting for more than six hours during their leisure time versus less than three hours per day has an approximately 40% higher all-cause death rate, and men had an approximately 20% higher death rate. It can also have a serious impact on your memory, as human development researcher Sabine Schaefer found that memory performance improved when walking as opposed to sitting.
The NHS recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with shorter bouts of activity for at least one to two minutes. Research shows that there are marvellous health benefits to standing desks which can altogether avoid the previous risks; by switching up your daily routine between sitting and standing, there is a lower risk of weight gain and obesity as it becomes easier for your body to burn calories.
Dr John Buckley, of the Department of Clinical Science and Nutrition, says that standing will burn 50% more calories than sitting. This means that you can burn 50 more calories per hour, which accounts for 200 per day and 40,000 per year. This regular exercise and movement also lower the chances of diabetes as insulins effectiveness can drop to 40% by sitting for only 24 hours (only one work day!). In addition to diabetes, your body will have a better chance of fighting off cancer risks, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease when it remains active.
According to Dr LaCroix, those with more sedentary lifestyles are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who are active at the office. Short-term benefits can also include a reduction in neck and back pain, increase in concentration and productivity as you begin to engage your heart and mind into your daily tasks, and improved circulation, which all other benefits depend on in order to work to their fullest. Standing desks deliver an 87% improvement to stress and fatigue as people begin to notice increased levels of energy.
By splitting your time 50-50 between sitting and standing, you are able to improve your physical, metabolic and even mental health, resulting in a more productive and happier work day.