It’s nice to have all of the conveniences of modern society - the ability to make a living in a climate-controlled office rather than brave the elements to hunt for food or farm like your ancestors did. There’s only one problem. Humans were meant to move. The reality is sitting too much isn’t good for you – and if you work an office job, you probably do lots of that. With the availability of technology that lets you work a job, pay bills and socialize with your pals without leaving your chair, it’s easy to get too comfy for your health – and that’s not a good thing.
Recent research published in reputable journals shows that people who sit for hours working a desk job have a greater risk for a number of health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Even scarier, sitting too long increases the risk for dying prematurely. Here’s the real kicker. Sitting too long is harmful even if you work out at the gym an hour a day. Seems that a daily workout of any length doesn’t make up for the long hours you spend glued to a chair.
Health problems and premature death aren’t the only drawbacks to too much sitting. Prolonged sitting can trigger back pain or worsen existing back pain and lead to calf tightness and other orthopedic issues. It’s not good for your spine or your posture either. Plus, when you sit, your metabolism takes a dive and you burn fewer calories. Stay glued to your chair long enough and you’ll be shopping for a new wardrobe after you can’t button your pants due to the weight you’ve gained.
Who says you have to sit at the office? Some people are replacing their chair with a standing desk so they can work from a standing position. Why is standing better? You burn 30 to 40 calories per hour when you move from a sitting to a standing position. Work an eight hour day? That’s an extra 240 calories to 320 calories daily. This adds up to a pound of weight loss every 10 days to 2 weeks if you change nothing else!
More calories burned and a reduced risk of dying prematurely aren’t the only benefits of trading in your chair for a standing desk. Sitting all day zaps your energy too. How many times have you gone home from work feeling “fried” even though you never got up from your chair? Standing instead of sitting can also increase your productivity since your energy levels won’t plummet from sitting too long. Plus, it’s a better choice ergonomically as long as you choose a desk that’s the right height. This translates into less back and neck pain – and better posture.
There are lots of reasons to switch to a standing desk but the most important one is to preserve your health. You weren’t made to sit all day – and you don’t have too when you equip your office with a standing desk. Once you do, expect to feel better and be more productive. Isn’t it time to make the switch?