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Standing vs. Sitting - How Can You Benefit from the Use of Standing Desk at Work

27 December 2023

If you look around, you'll see that most jobs today require people to sit in front of their computers all day long. Everywhere you turn, you'll see people hunched in front of their computers and engrossed in reading what's on the screen or typing their day away.

Someone who has to stand at work all day long may assume that a job where you've got to sit and work is much better and more comfortable, only that it isn't.

Experts say that sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is as hazardous for health as smoking, but not in the same ways. Everyone who sits at work for prolonged durations is at a massive risk of developing long-term health conditions that can't only affect their health and well-being but also come in the way of their performance at work.

If you ask us what's better, sitting at work all day or standing, we would say nothing for too long is good for you. If you want to clear any health complications, you must alternate between sitting and standing, which you can only do with a standing desk.

What Can Sitting for Too Long Do to Your Health?

Sitting in the same posture for several hours at a stretch poses a serious risk to your health, safety and overall well-being. Below are some of the most prominent consequences of sitting for too long.

Muscle Atrophy

When you're standing, the muscles of your legs are constantly active to hold you upright against gravity and keep you from falling. However, when you keep sitting for long hours, you don't use your leg muscles much, and you start to lose them when you don't use them. By not using your muscles actively, you put them at risk of muscle atrophy, which results in muscle weakening.

Back, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Sitting for long hours, that too, in a bad posture can lead to pain in the back, neck and shoulders. Sitting in the wrong posture puts strain on the back and spine, and this can lead to chronic back pain. If you're sitting on a chair that doesn't have a headrest, your neck and shoulders will be without any support for several hours, and that will lead to pain in the neck and shoulders that'll affect your ability to work.

Weight Gain

Excessive sitting can also result in weight gain. Since you're sitting all day long and aren't doing any physical activity that could burn calories, you'll soon gain weight. If you don't do anything about it, you'll continue gaining weight, which can affect your cardiovascular health.

Poor Mental Health

Another consequence of sitting for long hours is poor mental health. When you exercise or engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins that make you feel happy and good about yourself and your surroundings. However, when you keep sitting most of the day, you're at a high risk of developing mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Varicose Veins

Sitting for long hours compresses the vessels running behind your knees, which puts you at the risk of developing varicose veins. Varicose veins develop when the flow of blood to and fro the legs is affected, and blood starts to pool in the legs. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to the formation of blood clots. Even if there's no formation of blood clots when the blood pools in the legs, the volume of fluid available for the rest of the body is less, which puts stress on the heart and can lead to heart problems.

How Can You Benefit from a Standing Desk

A standing desk like the Comhar Pro Standing Desk Q8, as you can tell by the name, is a desk that's used while standing. While working while standing may sound uncomfortable, using a standing desk has tremendous benefits.

Let's walk you through the many benefits of using a standing desk at work:

Reduces Back Pain

One of the first benefits of using a standing desk is reduced back pain. Sitting for long hours puts strain on the spine and the muscles and tendons of the lower body, which is why you experience pain in your lower back after sitting for a long duration. However, when you work while standing, the strain on the back is reduced and so is the incidence of back pain.

The best thing about standing desks is the fact that the user can alternate between sitting and standing when using a standing desk. If you start feeling tired of standing, you can always lower the height of your standing desk and use it as a regular sitting desk. Being able to alternate between sitting and standing makes standing desks as beneficial as they are.

Lower Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

As we said earlier, sitting for long hours puts you at the risk of weight gain and obesity as you aren't doing any sort of physical activity that would burn calories. However, when you work while standing, your leg muscles constantly undergo micro-movements (contractions) to keep you from falling while you're standing against gravity. These contractions burn about 50 calories an hour. This means you burn calories even without doing anything at all. If you stand for 3 hours at work, you're burning 150 calories even day! This lowers the risk of weight gain and obesity.

Boosts Productivity

Using a standing desk at work also boosts your productivity. When you're standing, you don't experience discomfort from having to sit in an uncomfortable chair or suffer back, neck, and shoulder pain due to sitting for long hours. With your mind focused entirely on work and not on pain and discomfort (because there isn't any), you'll be able to work with better focus and, therefore, deliver better results. You'll be able to do more in less time because you'll be focused on work only.

Improves Mood

Using a standing desk is a lot more comfortable than sitting on the wrong chair. Discomfort is bound to make you irritable and cranky at work, and a bad mood will affect your productivity and efficiency. However, you'll automatically be in a good mood when you're comfortable at work, aren't feeling any discomfort or experiencing body pain. The happier you are at work, the better your performance will be. Better performance means more appreciation from the bosses, which will further improve your mood and morale and help alleviate work-related stress.

Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

When you're at work, you don't get a chance to walk a few minutes after having a meal. You go back to your workstation and sit to continue your work. Your sugar levels are increased after a meal, and the lack of physical activity results in the sugar level hike lasting longer, which puts you at the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

However, using a standing desk at work reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes. As we said earlier, working while standing burns about 50 calories an hour, ensuring that your body burns the calories it consumes, thereby reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Reduced Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Sitting in the wrong posture for extended hours puts you at a high risk of work-related injuries, which we know as musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders are characterized by pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, followed by damage to the muscles and tendons if you continue to work in the wrong posture.

This is where using a standing desk at work can benefit you immensely. When you work while standing, you mitigate all the risks associated with sitting in the wrong posture for long hours and therefore, the risk of you developing musculoskeletal disorders is significantly reduced.

Improved Heart Health

As we've explained earlier, working while standing ensures a smooth flow of blood to and fro the legs. It prevents the blood from pooling in the legs, and with that, the load on the heart is significantly reduced. With the load on the heart reduced, it functions more efficiently and stays healthy. With a healthy heart, your health and well-being are also assured.

Improved Mental Health

Another notable benefit of using a standing desk at work is Improved Mental health. Better productivity, higher quality results, a greater appreciation and professional growth, and higher morale come with higher comfort. All of this is bound to reduce work-related stress and anxiety and help you maintain sound mental health.

Closing Word

Standing desks are one of the best pieces of ergonomic equipment that you can invest in. It not only enhances your comfort at work but also improves your productivity and efficiency and improves your health in the long run. The best thing about using a standing desk at work is that you can alternate between standing and sitting, which is the most benefic way to work, as suggested by ergonomics experts.

If you want to make working while standing even more comfortable, you can invest in an anti-fatigue mat that will ensure that your leg muscles don't get fatigued from standing for long hours at work.

So, in a nutshell, when we talk about sitting vs standing, standing is definitely better for your health and safety!