I used to sit a lot, at least until my back was injured in November 2020 and for months I couldn’t sit. It changed everything for me. Until then, the health benefits of a standing desk hadn’t occurred to me. Even when I placed a box on my desk and my laptop on top of it so that I could work standing, I didn’t think of any benefits. I just wanted to stop the pain and heal.
When I found out more about standing desks and their benefits, I could finally relate, because I had been teaching online and writing books and articles while standing for months. Of course, I didn’t spend endless hours standing; I took frequent breaks, went for walks, stretched my legs, and I did quick exercises in between.
In May 2021, my back was finally better and I could sit again for more than an hour. I now spend more time sitting at my desk, but the standing desk has been on my mind, and it has become a habit now to alternate between standing, walking, and sitting.
Why Should You Consider Getting a Standing Desk?
Sitting for prolonged periods is not recommended. It’s always best to stop every hour and take a small break, move those legs. I just get up and go for a 5-minute walk, or even 2 minutes. It makes all the difference.
So, what are the benefits of standing desks? According to Healthline, standing desks can:
- Reduce back pain
- I can attest to this, because when I had my back injury I felt little to no pain when I was standing.
- Lower your risk of weight gain and obesity
- Sitting all day burns few calories and significantly adds to weight gain.
- When you stand you burn more calories. An afternoon of standing at your desk burns 170 more calories than if you would be spending an afternoon sitting. How many calories are those per week? Around 1000!
- May lower your risk of heart disease
- That’s nothing new. The first time this idea was mentioned was in 1953.
- After studies on bus conductors it was concluded that a sedentary lifestyle may increase heart disease more than a 100% – up to 147% in fact … According to the National Library of Medicine, the damage done by a full day of sitting can’t even be undone by a full hour of rigorous exercise … So, I suppose that more standing during the day may be in order.
- Help improve energy and boost productivity
- When I spent those months standing at my desk I was certainly energetic. When I first started doing this, I didn’t think that I would be able to get much work done, but I surprised myself. I was alert, had a good mood, and I got a lot of work done.
So, now that we know this, it looks like standing desks are more than just a fad. They are beneficial for our health.
Final Thoughts and Ideas
I would suggest combining standing and sitting. For example, when I had to write long texts of a few thousand words I would do half or 1/3 standing and – in the months that my back was improving – do the rest sitting for as much as possible. Now that my back has healed, I can sit as long as I want (ah, the freedom! Seriously, once you lose a certain ability you realize how we take our bodily functions for granted).
What I do nowadays is a combination of sitting, walking, and standing. I always take my walks in between. Those breaks are necessary. Even a two-minute walk can recharge those batteries.
Whether you spend your days standing or sitting, always make sure you take frequent breaks, and remember not to sit for hours on end. It really isn’t recommended.
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