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The benefits of Sit Stand Desks

Stand Up To Your Health

Sitting for hours at a time is detrimental to your health, yet many of us often do it without a second thought if we work in an office-based environment, are studying or drive vehicles for a living. Experts are still unsure as to the exact reasons why, but it’s common knowledge that sitting down for extended periods can lead to numerous health concerns, such as an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and even certain cancers. There are even campaigns in the UK to try and get the UK moving more, to try and reduce our inactive lifestyles that we’ve defaulted to.

 

A sedentary lifestyle can be combated to some extent with a sit stand desk – these adjustable desks for standing or sitting encourage us to get up out of our seats more often. Some studies suggest that they may have some physical and mental health benefits too. Some of the most famous names of our time have been advocates for the sit stand desk, including Leonard da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Arianna Huffington.

 

There are a range of different mechanism to choose between, from manual sit stand desk which are simple and affordable but effective, to a crank option which uses a cog and wheel system to raise the desk. The electric sit stand desk is the most popular solution, using little power and some brands even measuring your seating time so you know when you’ve been sedentary for too long. Here are five of the benefits of using a sit stand desk

1. Lower the risk of heart disease

 

There’s no denying that spending more time on your feet is better for your heart health. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been thought to increase the risk of heart disease exponentially. By incorporating more movement, even if that’s just choosing to stand instead of sit while you’re doing other activities you’d normally sit down for, such as working at a desk, your heart health will benefit.

 

A 2013 study showed that using a standing desk led to the heart beating an average of ten beats faster a minute than when sitting down. These additional calories burned mount up over the course of a week to improve your heart health and reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.

 

2. Reduce obesity and burn more calories

 

As we know, weight gain is typically caused by consuming more calories than we burn. Naturally, exercising is the best and most effective way to burn calories quickly and increase our fitness levels, but simply opting to stand instead of sit can benefit your health as well.

 

When it comes to weight and reducing the risk of obesity, even small changes can soon mount up and changing the way we work in such an easy way with minimal effort can contribute towards a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

3. Improve back pain

 

Anyone who has worked an office-based job will know how painful sitting at a desk can be on their back. After hours of slouching in the same position over a keyboard repeatedly, over months or even years, your posture begins to suffer and this can lead to long-term back pain, neck complaints and even migraines.

 

A sit stand desk can help to straighten out your posture while you work, alleviating the stress on your back and neck, and helping to reduce the risk of long-term damage.

4. Lower blood sugar levels

 

After we eat, our blood sugar levels increase – the higher the levels, the worse it is for our health. For those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, this is particularly true and can lead to dangerous health complications.

Excessive bouts of sedentary time has been linked to a 112% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but a small study carried out in 2014 found that standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the spike in blood sugar levels by 43% compared to those sitting for the same amount of time.

 

Sit stand desks can be beneficial in reminding us to move and stand more often throughout the day to help improve our overall health.

5. Increase productivity, energy and mood

 

Standing forces us to keep changing our positions to prevent discomfort, which keeps us focused and stops us from procrastinating, so it can even help with our creativity and productivity. Studies have also suggested that standing desks help to increase energy levels and improve our mood.

 

Just by changing your positioning, you can vary where the stress in your body accumulates, giving you more control. Just by changing your position you can change where the stress in your body is accumulating, and physical stress plays a big part in our mood. If you find that you’re more focused either sitting or standing though, choose those times when you really need to focus to do either of these that works best for you.

 

6. How to make the transition to an adjustable desk

 

If you’re inspired to switch to a sit stand desk, there are some things to consider as you transition to this way of working. Don’t try to adjust too quickly, particularly if you’ve gone a long time used to sitting down. Firstly, remember to take it slow – if you’re used to spending six hours sitting down, your body won’t adjust well to suddenly having to stand for long periods.

Aim to sit for three of your waking hours each day, beginning with 20 minutes at a time so your body can adjust slowly without any unnecessary strain. Also consider your knees and hips – standing can place stress on these areas in place of your back and neck if you’re not supporting them correctly, so stand on a gel mat to soften the impact on these joints. Finally, remember that standing isn’t a replacement for movement so to really see the health benefits of being more active, you should be walking more as well.

 

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