Sitting down all day in an office environment is what many of us are doing on a daily basis. Yet according to studies, it could be worse for your health than smoking. Excessive sitting has also been associated with an increased risk of exacerbated lower back pain conditions, including herniated disc, slipped disc, degenerative disc disease or sciatica.
Sitting for prolonged hours every day can also have the effect of dramatically increasing the risk of all kinds of chronic diseases. In fact, research from the Mayo Clinic shows that sitting down for too long can lead to a dramatically increased risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer and Diabetes Type 2 amongst other chronic health conditions.
The reason why sitting down for too long is dangerous is because the activity in your muscles slows down and then the body’s calorie burning rate goes into rest mode (around one calorie a minute). Over the course of the day, this means you experience a 40% reduction in glucose uptake in insulin. This is what raises the risk of diabetes over time.
It’s also been discovered that after a short period of sitting, the enzymes that help to break down fat drop by 90%. While after 2 hours, good cholesterol drops by 20%. It’s no surprise then that people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than people who have standing jobs.
One of the best ways to combat the ‘sitting disease’ is by choosing to work behind a standing desk. There are many options available now which make it easy to stand up and do your work without having to spend a small fortune. In fact there are many standing desks that make it highly convenient to stand all day long, so you can do so in comfort.
Robert Redfern, founder of Naturally Healthy News can testify to the importance of using a standing desk for back pain relief. “I have worked for 15 years standing 12-16 hours per day at my computer. At aged 70 I continue to stand and now have zero pains compared to chronic back pain I suffered when I was 40.” Anyone with back pain will benefit from standing rather than sitting all day, although it is important to maintain good posture while working.
Standing up for around 2-4 hours every working day is highly recommended for best health. If you can’t do this then it’s important to limit your sedentary time by standing up for a couple of minutes every hour, to break the routine of your body getting used to sitting down for too long. One Australian study shows that just 10 minutes of walking or standing every hour can counteract any negative effects of long-term sitting that may lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc. So it seems the important thing is to move regularly. Yet for most people, it’s easy to get into a routine of sitting down all day and forgetting to stand up and move around. That’s why a standing desk comes highly recommended.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
Working at a standing desk has many emotional and mental benefits too. One of the biggest psychological benefits is that it makes you feel more engaged and energised on a daily basis. This may have something to do with your body’s posture and how certain ‘power poses’ can enable the body to produce more testosterone and less cortisol. The standing desk naturally positions you in certain poses that can provide noticeable changes to your physiology that may also have an effect on reducing stress and building confidence levels. More good reasons to stand up for your health and wellbeing!