Research suggests that an average person spend sitting down for up to five hours per day, while that time increases to eight hours a day for an American adult. For example, an international journal found that almost two-thirds of the Costa Rican population reported a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
Generally speaking, sitting all day is detrimental to your health. A sedentary lifestyle leads to all kinds of diseases that are most often classified under one term – sitting disease, which we'll discuss below.
In this article we will be discussing the risks and benefits of both standing and sitting, the types of tables and desks, such as sitting desks, standing desks, and sit-stand desks, which can help you reduce your bodily pains and improve your posture and overall health.
Types of Desks
It is scientifically proven that higher sedentary time could lead to various health problems. In order to tackle this problem, it is necessary to be well informed about desks and tables in general, the pros and cons of sitting and standing, and finally, the benefits of sit-stand desk use.
The first type of desk we will be discussing about is the sitting desks, as they are the standard, basic type of desk. They are used by most office workers and many home users who spend their time sitting while working, playing video games, or doing something as a hobby.
These sitting desks aren't healthy for us, especially for long periods, as sitting time has been proven to lead to various health issues. However, there are some health benefits to sitting as well.
The Advantages of Non-Adjustable Desk
Some benefits of non-adjustable desk includes allowing you to have increased energy, higher confidence levels and increased productivity.
The Negative Effects of Non-Adjustable Desk
Prolonged sitting can also lead to sitting diseases, a term used for over 30 conditions that can arise from excessive sitting. An inactive lifestyle has been proven to lead to an increased risk of death and various other health problems, therefore standing up as much as possible is recommended.
The longer time spent sitting, the higher the risk of all these diseases. A common misconception people has is that a cushioned mat will improve their posture and lessen the negative effects of sitting for prolonged periods.
In contrary, not standing enough and spending time sitting down can impact your mental health which may lead to various other health issues as well. Sedentary time can have various negative impacts, so standing up, taking a walk, or at least taking a break every few hours will be beneficial.
Not only can posture be easily affected by long periods of sitting but it can also have a significant effect on our health. An example of health problem that can be caused is heart disease.
Luckily, you can fix bad posture. You can fix it quickly if it has been a short time since you first started experiencing this problem. Firstly you will need to become aware of slouching or sitting improperly.
Then you need to start adjusting your desk, chair, and monitor according to your physical needs. For example, aligning the height of the desk as well as the chair so that the monitor is at your eye level. Once in a while you should also take deep breaths and stretch to allow better blood circulation.
Neck Strain and Back Pain
Another problem that usually affects users of a sitting desk is neck strain. When you spend long periods sitting and looking at a monitor, neck pain is almost always guaranteed.
It is another thing that can be affected by bad posture, and it can often spread to your shoulders and your back, causing immense pain. Furthermore, it can cause headaches.
Sitting at a desk for long periods means fewer calories can be burned, which is connected to weight gain. Sitting is closely related to obesity. If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day and don't spend any time standing or exercising, you are highly likely to gain weight.
Research has also linked sitting time with cardiovascular events and heart disease-related deaths. It is scientifically proven that participants with a higher sitting time were at a higher risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular events. That's why using a standing desk is a better option.
Standing desks are becoming very popular very quickly. This is because people are buying standing desks to get better posture, thinking that a standing desk will get them enough physical activity for the day. Although certainly an improvement over those regular sitting desks, standing desk users won't have much better results.
The problem with standing desks is that they take an all-or-nothing approach to standing. Of course, standing is better than sitting, and it can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart attacks, but simply standing may be as bad as if you sit down all day.
Using just a standing desk doesn't mean you're using proper ergonomics. You will have bigger leg muscles, but you might also get swollen ankles. Simply standing for extended periods is almost like sitting all the time.
Benefits of Standing desk
A standing desk can have various benefits. They are usually better than sitting desks but standing all day certainly won't do you any good. Standing can lead to many problems as well.
However, the benefits of standing desks certainly outweigh their bad sides. The benefits of standing desks include reduced blood sugar levels and lower chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, standing at a desk in itself is beneficial for you. Reducing sedentary time and standing more often means half the risk of heart disease and decrease blood sugar levels, ensuring that your overall health condition is in a better state. From this it can be implied that there are many benefits of a standing desk.
Lower Chance of Cancer
When people sits down all day during work, it can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Just half an hour of standing instead of sitting can decrease the chances of cancer developing. Some typical types of cancer caused by not standing enough and not using a standing desk include prostate cancer and bowel cancer.
Lower Blood Sugar
The benefits of a standing desk include lower blood sugar as well. A standing desk will reduce the amount of time you spend sitting, making you move your body more which also helps to reduce weight. Using a standing desk can therefore lead to lower blood sugar, as how much you move has a direct impact on blood sugar.
Using a standing desk will allow you to improve your posture in the long run. If you sit down for long periods it affects your posture on a large scale, so stand up frequently throughout the day while and stretching in order to help your back, bones, and muscles and alleviate the pain you might feel if you sit down all day.
Improved Overall Health
Using a standing desk can improve your overall physical health. You might be wondering how. A standing desk will decrease sedentary time, which is a significant improvement. Standing desks make you move more often, and sometimes just standing might be enough.
A cushioned mat will only help if you sit down for a short period of time. The higher your sedentary time, the higher your risk of high blood sugar, which cannot be good in any way. You need to stand up and stretch, as standing will improve your blood sugar levels.
Moreover, standing is enough to reduce neck pain or any other pain you might feel when you sit down for long periods. Using a standing desk, therefore, impacts your whole body, and it has health benefits for your overall health.
Sit Stand Desk
They are the best compared to all the other desks. These desks are most often known as height-adjustable desks and are also referred to as stand-up desk, a sit-stand desk. They allow users to freely switch between being able to sit down and stand up, leading to an improved posture over time.
The key to better posture and good occupational ergonomics is finding that balance between not sitting or standing too long but being somewhere right in between, and this is where a sit-stand desk comes in.
These desks offer various health benefits, not just for office workers but for all people doing excessive time spent sitting or leading a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
Benefits of Ergonomic Desk
Being the best of both worlds and helping reduce sedentary time, these desks allow for some physical activity while working. They are great for office workers and lead to better posture over time, offering many other health benefits.
As we've previously mentioned, they offer you the good sides of both sitting and standing, so there are no cons to using these desks, as you can quickly switch and stretch. The advantages of ergonomic desk design include some of the following things.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels can easily be affected by the time you sit, and it has been scientifically proven that sitting is connected to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Regulating your blood sugar will be vital for your overall health.
Height adjustable desks not only lead to improved posture over long periods, but they also reduce weight gain and lead to lower blood sugar levels. By increasing the time you spend standing, these desks lead to better blood flow for the entire body, making you healthier.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Standing while using a sit-stand desk can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease by half. By making you stand up and stretch from time to time, sit-stand desks alleviate chest pain, increases blood flow, activate your leg muscles, and lead to a better posture. All these factors reduce the chance of you developing cancer.
More Calories Burned
A stand-up desk can help you lose weight by burning more calories. By improving blood flow to your legs, standing activates your whole body, leading to more calories being burned as compared to how much would be burned when you sit down. Therefore, you will be losing weight quicker by burning these calories.
Better Mental Health
Standing after long periods can help office workers, and other sedentary lifestyle enthusiasts change their perspective and thinking process. Changing one's perspective can lead to better problem-solving skills and lower stress levels, leading to better mental health.
Moreover, workplace stress can have various negative impacts on our overall health. By reducing stress, you will also improve your sleeping habits and lower the chances of depression, anxiety, cancer, and even workplace accidents, as stress has been linked to all these.
Increased Life Expectancy
A sit-stand desk is an excellent piece of office furniture, as it helps office workers in various ways. The proper ergonomics make it an excellent investment for home use as well, as it eliminates almost all human factors connected to cardiovascular disease.
By burning more calories and improving blood flow, this type of desk reduces weight gain and the chances of developing heart disease and, therefore, heart disease-related deaths, which further leads to a better life expectancy.
In this article, the various risks of a sedentary lifestyle has been highlighted. Higher sitting time can lead to a higher risk of developing a disease, wrist strain, cardiovascular disease, neck pain, etc. We also discussed the various health benefits of ergonomic office furniture and why it is essential to use them.
Ergonomic tables are an excellent investment that can help one's health. They offer various health benefits, such as reducing stress and bodily pain caused by a sedentary lifestyle and improper sitting habits. These tables also reduce neck pain and eye strain and lead to proper sitting.