By Emily Hayes
Over the recent years, there has been a lot of hype about standing desks and the benefits of standing versus sitting. Employees were clamoring for the latest standing desks or, at a minimum asking for a sweet ergonomic office setup to combat sitting all day. So, what’s the 411 on standing versus sitting?
Is it time to make a stand?
There are a few issues that come into question when sitting at a desk and staring at a screen all day. How much does extended sitting affect posture? Does it create back or shoulder pain? Do you burn more calories when standing versus sitting? Does sitting all day really result in an earlier death?
It all boils down to the greater question… is sitting all day truly bad for us? First, it is important to note that a body’s reaction to sitting or standing (or really anything else) will differ between individuals. However, based on the “average” person, here is what we found after culling through quite a few articles on the subject:
1. Posture & pain
Sitting all day can cause spinal disk compression, which can lead to degeneration and chronic pain. As sitting and leaning forward for extended periods can increase pressure on the back. The same applies to standing with poor ergonomics.
Carpal tunnel syndrome as well as shoulder, back, and neck pain are all conditions that can be affected by both sitting or standing.
2. Happiness & health
Based on a study by Healthline, standing burns more calories than sitting. This is because the number and volume of muscles that you use while standing is higher than sitting. On the other hand, standing for long periods can also cause swelling in the feet and ankles, as well as increase pressure on your knees.
While there are many hidden health benefits of a standing desk, it’s best if your desk allows you to sit also. Perhaps the healthiest way to survive a sedentary job is to stand up every 20 minutes. C’mon, your boss will love it. Take a lap around the office 24 times a day. Everybody’s doing it!
3. The bottom line, Boss
Life is all about balance. Most experts think it’s best to alternate between both sitting and standing throughout the day. Y’know, experience the yin and the yang.
Sitting all day isn’t great for you but standing all day doesn’t seem to be the answer either. Staying active though may lead to an increase in certain enzymes that break up fat in the blood stream, help burn calories and greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
The best way to gain balance is to find a hybrid desk that allows for both sitting and standing. Check out the many options for sit/stand desks at Office Depot or OfficeMax. NPP members save big on office supplies, including discounts on office furniture and breakroom supplies.
If your company is not already an NPP member, join NPP for free. See what 300,000 NPP members nationwide already know: You can boost your bottom line with special pricing and discounts on business items you already use, even desks.
Go ahead. Make a stand. Find healthier options for work.