Standing Desk

Use a standing desk to lower risk of heart disease

It’s my opinion that people sit too much, we watch TV, we work and play on the computer, we sit driving to and from work. It seems like we have to try pretty hard to get any kind of physical activity these days.
Sitting all day in the same position puts you at huge levels of health risk. To combat this you can use a standing desk. SO how much better is standing vs sitting?
Let’s find out…
Let’s take a moment to consider the many health benefits of standing. We can begin by looking at a couple of recent Studies.

  1. Standing reduces risk of weight gain.
    While standing your body is better able to burn more calories when you are standing vs sitting. A sedentary lifestyle, where you are spend most of your time sitting, invariably leads to weight gain and obesity.
    A recent study published by the University of Calgary reveals that standing for at least six hours throughout the day significantly decreases the probability of obesity in both men and women.
    The study used three measures to assess over 7,000 adults: body mass index, body fat percentage, and waist circumference. The researchers found that men who stood up for at least six hours per day had a 59% reduced likelihood of obesity. For women, standing for at least six hours a day was linked to 35% reduced chance of obesity.
  2. Standing vs sitting lowers risk of heart disease.
    Choosing to stand rather than sit lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, and keeps weight off—all of which decreases your risk for heart disease.
    Researchers in Canada found that standing desks can help increase your “good” cholesterol and decrease your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels if used for at least two hours per day. Standing and working at a sit desk desk just a couple hours a day can make that 2% difference to your cholesterol levels. A 2% lower average fasting blood sugar level in both men and women, and an 11% lower average level of triglycerides.
    Standing for the extra time was also shown to improve HDL cholesterol by 0.06 mmol/L and lower LDL cholesterol by 6%. In fact, every two hours that is spent sitting each day was associated with increased weight and waist size and increased levels of blood sugar and bad cholesterol.
    Not surprisingly, time spent walking instead of sitting had a reverse effect. However, simply substituting two hours of standing for sitting improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Standing Desk

Reasons to use a Standing Desk at Work

By now most people are well aware of the harmful effects that sitting too much and the long term damage that will have on your physical health, such as increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer, along with chronic back pain and diabetes. However, research reveals that excessive sitting may also have significant consequences for your mental health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Toronto discovered that employees who sat for more than six hours per day experienced increased rates of anxiety and depression compared to colleagues who did not spend as much time in their seat.

The Canadian study analyzed data collected from a sample of 2654 provincial government employees as part of a larger health program. Participants completed a short psychological assessment to measure symptoms of anxiety and depression over the previous four weeks. They were also asked to report their levels of physical activity, leisure-time activity, and overall satisfaction in the workplace.

Analyzing the data, the research team found a significant correlation between mental health distress levels and daily time spent sitting. Participants who sat for over six hours a day reported higher rates of moderate anxiety and depression compared to those who spend less than three hours per day sitting. They also found differences in levels of psychological distress by gender, with women reporting more symptoms of anxiety and depression than men.

As in other studies of the effects of sitting for extended periods of time, the study found that going to the gym on a regular basis did not counteract the effects of sitting on the participants’ mental health. The employees who spent the majority of their day sitting reported higher rates of anxiety and depression than those who sat for three hours or less regardless of whether they worked out or not.

Simon Baldkirk, leader of the study, observed that, “individuals may be meeting recommended levels of health-promoting physical activity, yet their physical and mental health may remain at risk if they are also sedentary for prolonged periods.”

Ultimately, exercise cannot save you from the physical or psychological effects of sitting too much. In order to prevent or reverse the negative mental health consequences of a sedentary workplace, you have to incorporate more standing with a standing desk into your day through the use of a sit-stand desk, a treadmill desk, or even a desk bike.