What are your concerns?

close
Inaccurate
Hard to understand
Other

Or copy link

New

Is A Standing Desk Really Beneficial To Your Health?

Is A Standing Desk Really Beneficial To Your Health?

Whether in a real office or a remote work setup, sitting for the better part of the day has become routine. The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle – whether sitting or lying down – will be discussed. The possible advantages of a standing desk will also be considered.

Why is sitting down bad for you?

A sedentary lifestyle – described as sitting or lying down for too long – poses many dangers to your health. It affects many areas of the human body more than we thought this simple act could.

It affects the lower body muscles

Sitting down may result in weaker leg and gluteal muscles, which are important for movement and stability. Movement helps the digestion of fats and sugars. Sitting down lessens the efficiency of the digestive system.

Research also suggests that people need 60 to 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day to ward off the negative effects of excessive sitting. Although standing may not be a moderate-intensity activity, it could help remind you to move or walk every now and then.

The hips and back are also at risk from sitting too much. Long periods of sitting shortens the hip flexor muscles, while poor sitting posture can lead to spine health issues.

It may bring about serious health complications

Although the reason is yet unclear, sitting may also boost your chances of developing certain types of cancer: lung, uterine, and colon, for instance. It is linked to heart disease: inactive people who sit for long periods are at 147% higher risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. This is definitely a point in favor of getting a standing desk.

A study revealed that the risk of diabetes was higher by 112% in people who were sedentary. Sitting or lying down may lead to higher insulin resistance in the body, causing blood sugar levels to exceed the normal range. Another study revealed that a sedentary lifestyle contributed to a higher likelihood of early death.

Varicose veins may also develop as sitting causes blood to pool in the legs.

In addition, avoiding stiff neck and shoulders as well as warding off anxiety and depression may something to consider if when buying a standing desk.

Is a standing desk good for you?

A study conducted in a real office environment examined capillary blood glucose responses of participants to sitting versus standing after taking lunch. The researchers found that an afternoon of standing had an energy expenditure of 174 kilocalories more than one spent sitting. This suggests that standing helped with weight loss.

However, much of the benefits of a standing desk are assumed based on research that associates the negative health impacts of sitting. It must be noted that not sitting down can include a variety of other activities, like walking or pacing. These may well have different effects on health than just standing.

More research on the benefits of a standing desk must be done to back their presumed health benefits.

Key Takeaways

Office work and work-from-home setups often involve sitting down for long periods during the day. This activity – or lack thereof – can be classified as a sedentary lifestyle. It has many effects on a person’s health, some more serious than others.

Is a standing desk worth it? Despite the lack of evidence backing their purported health perks, standing desks may help you avoid the negative effects of simply sitting down or lying down.

Check out other General Health Knowledge here.

health-tool-icon

BMI Calculator

Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you're at a healthy weight. You can also use this tool to check your child's BMI.

Male

Female

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

A systematic review of standing and treadmill desks in the workplace, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.11.011. Accessed 10 Mar 2022

The dangers of sitting: why sitting is the new smoking, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting. Accessed 10 Mar 2022

The truth behind standing desks, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-truth-behind-standing-desks-2016092310264. Accessed 10 Mar 2022

Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion, https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2013-101823. Accessed 10 Mar 2022

Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-012-2677-z. Accessed 10 Mar 2022

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by China Logarta Updated Apr 11
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD