Stand Up for Your Health
Long hours of sitting can take a toll on your body. Here’s how to combat the risks.
For millions of Americans, the term “workday” is synonymous with sitting in front of a computer for eight hours or more. The demands of the office impose a sedentary lifestyle on us, with all the discomfort and health risks that go along with it.
Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time may be a bigger hazard to our health than we ever thought; it can result in serious short and long-term problems.1
These discoveries have led some to proclaim the “lethality”2
of “the sitting disease.”3
The good news is, if you’re willing to take small measures to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you should be just fine. Adding a standing desk and a little more movement to your day can make all the difference in the world.
The Problem with Sitting
Research has confirmed what most of us intuitively expected: we burn very few calories while we sit (about one per minute). The reduced activity makes your metabolism slow to a crawl, and your body’s inevitable response is weight gain.
Sitting for extended periods can also compromise your posture, putting pressure on your lower back, shoulders, arms, legs, and other body parts. Over time that can lead to serious pain and chronic musculoskeletal issues, causing missed work and costing you, and potentially your employer, money.
In addition to widening waistlines and physical discomfort, new studies confirm that extended sitting increases your risk for the types of serious long-term illnesses typically associated with sedentary lifestyles, such as diabetes and heart disease.4
Add Movement to Your Day
Exercise is fundamental, but the three-hours-per-week gym routine alone won’t undo 40-plus hours a week of inactivity and bad posture. Consistent, cumulative approaches are more effective at reminding your body not to fall asleep on the job.
You burn three times as many calories standing up as you do by sitting, and 4-5 times as many by walking. Ideally, you should get your body in motion at least once an hour (some find it helpful to set an hourly reminder). Here are some practical ideas that’ll give you an excuse to get moving:
Use a restroom that’s a little farther away, or on another floor
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Take multiple trips instead of consolidating your tasks into one trip
Walk over to your coworker’s desk instead of sending an email or IM
Get a glass of water (that stuff’s good for you)
Refill printer toner or paper
Take “walking meetings” in a park instead of sitting in a conference room
In between those activities, ergonomic products can help relieve some of the pressure on your seated body. Back pillows, adjustable chairs, footrests, and ergonomic keyboards are all great steps towards reducing strain and promoting proper posture.
These actions make for a better day and a healthier body, but a more significant measure is required if you want to protect yourself in the long term.
The Standing Solution
Standing desks address the sitting epidemic head-on. Leading tech companies like Google and Facebook sparked a boom in standing desk popularity by letting workers toss their old sitting desks aside in favor of stand up desks. Long before Google, Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway utilized standing desks. And those were pretty smart guys.
While working at a standing desk, you’re constantly shifting your weight, adjusting for comfort, or just plain fidgeting, whether you realize it or not. Your body is more active, increasing your metabolism and burning more calories. When you release the energy you consume, you end the day in a state of satisfied exhaustion, helping you to fall asleep easier and get more recuperative sleep.
Best of all, your employer might be willing to cover the cost of a stand up desk. Considering the massive cost of workers’ comp claims5
, most employers prefer to take a proactive approach to keeping their employees happy and healthy. Stand up desks reduce health risks in the short and long-term. A healthier workforce files fewer workers’ comp claims, and that can mean huge savings for the company.
Elevate Your Body … and Your Mood
A healthy work life is essential to your happiness, and staying active at work is a big part of the equation. Along with the easily visible health benefits, there’s evidence that using a standing desk can even improve your mood.6
To help with your proactive approach to better health, Anthro designs cutting-edge furniture that works for you. Amongst our innovative stand up desks is the Elevate®
II, an adjustable model that moves from sitting level to standing height at the push of a button. Keep your chair handy and plop down when you need a rest. This and many other standing desks are available right here on our website, and our knowledgeable customer service team is ready to answer any questions you have about standing up for your health.