Why Standing Desks Are Here to Stay


We sit — a lot.
From the time we first enter school until we retire from our careers, the majority of our weekday time is spent sitting: We sit in the car. We sit at our desks. We sit in meetings. We sit and watch TV.
This doesn’t mean we’re lazy. Most of us are extremely busy, with days filled with family needs, gatherings, errands, phone calls, emails, texts, and more. We’re so busy that we often think we’re being active during the day.
The truth is, despite the busyness of our days, most of us move far too little to maintain the health of our priceless bodies.
Research shows that almost two out of three people classify themselves as “active,” even though only about 5 percent of people actually are.https://www.fezibo.com/collections/standing-deskhttps://www.fezibo.com/https://www.fezibo.com/collections/height-adjustable-desk
Television and video game time have taken the blame for our lack of activity for years. But it’s actually our school and work environments that cause the greatest amount of sedentary time. People spend more time sitting during workdays than they do on their days off.
Fortunately, many companies are catching on to the importance of keeping their employees active. Moving more throughout the day holds the promise of better employee health and productivity, as well as reduced healthcare costs — not to mention better job satisfaction.
High-top conference tables, standing workstations, and walking meetings are not a passing fad. These activity-promoting office features are here to stay. Here’s why:
Sitting Wrecks Your Metabolism
Extended periods of inactivity wreak havoc on your metabolism, even if you eat well and exercise regularly.
Studies that look at bed rest give us a great idea of what happens to the body when inactivity is taken to an extreme. These studies show that a lack of movement can contribute to insulin resistance, worsening of blood lipids, and a reduction in the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrate.
Obviously people who are on bed rest get less activity than those who have sedentary jobs, but the activity level for most people isn’t that much greater than those who are confined to a hospital bed. Here’s the kicker:
The negative effects of inactivity occur even when calories are controlled. Meaning, metabolism gets worse even if people eat fewer calories to compensate for the reduced activity.
Extended periods of sitting can cause a change in metabolism, where fatty acids are shifted away from muscle and toward fat tissue. Since fatty acids become less available to muscles, muscle tissue relies more on carbohydrates. At the same time, since you don’t burn the fat for fuel, blood lipid levels rise.https://www.fezibo.com/collections/electric-standing-deskhttps://www.fezibo.com/collections/l-shaped-standing-deskhttps://www.fezibo.com/collections/small-standing-desk
With muscle tissue’s increased demand for carbohydrate, blood-sugar levels fluctuate more, increasing your cravings for carbs. Because of your reduced use of fat for fuel, the concentration of mitochondria in your cells may decrease. Less mitochondria means you’ll have an even harder time burning fat, and your muscular endurance will decrease — AKA, you’ll fatigue faster.
As muscles get smaller, they have less space to store carbohydrates. The excess of carbohydrate increases the production of insulin and raises your triglyceride levels. The elevated insulin then increases fat storage.
Bed rest studies show that inactivity not only increases subcutaneous body fat (which sits under the skin) levels, but it also increases the storage of fat in muscle tissue and bone marrow.
They also showed that just one day of sitting could decrease insulin sensitivity (resulting in less-effectively used glucose and higher blood sugar) in muscle tissue in otherwise healthy individuals. These changes occurred whether they consumed excess of or matched to their reduced activity level.
The Benefits of Standing Desk
Standing desks have been available for many years, although they are becoming more popular as people realize the benefits a standing desk truly provides for the body.
Studies show that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or sit for long periods at work are more susceptible to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a shorter life expectancy. This combination of symptoms is often referred to as “sitting disease“. Even worse, the long-term effects of sitting often are not simply countered by exercise or diet!
Standing while working, even for just 30 minutes at a time (4 hours a day or more) can have a major impact on your health and body, and it’s not difficult to do if you have the right equipment. Sit-Stand desks, sometimes known as standing desks or height-adjustable desks, are all the rage and make it very easy to change posture throughout the day while working. For example, this one offers easy advisability of the desktop height and has a swiveling chair that can move out of the way while standing! Using this type of equipment at work can have innumerable benefits:https://www.fezibo.com/collections/standing-desk-with-drawershttps://www.fezibo.com/collections/gaming-deskshttps://www.fezibo.com/collections/standing-computer-deskhttps://www.fezibo.com/collections/ergonomic-chairs
1. Reduce Back Pain
Back pain is something that 80% of adults will experience over their lifetimes, and one of the greatest complaints of office workers who are seated all day.
Many studies have explored the impact of using a standing desk on office workers with long-term back pain. The “Take-a-Stand Project”1 in 2011 found that participants who spent an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain.
In just over an hour a day, the participants of the “Take-a-Stand Project” had dramatic results. Imagine what standing could do for you!
2. Lower your Risk of Heart Disease
Researchers have been studying the benefits of standing for more than 60 years! In 1953 a study of bus conductors found that those who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths of the bus drivers who were seated.2
Sixty years later, a comparison of 18 studies with almost 800,000 participants came to the same conclusions as the original bus conductor study. Their findings were that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a 90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 147% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events as compared to an active lifestyle.
3. Lower your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
We all know that in a general sense, weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than the body is burning. More than 44% of office workers say they have gained weight in their present job, and 53% of those said they believed it was due to sitting at a desk all day.What if you could burn calories while working with little to no extra effort?
By standing instead of sitting, you can reduce the risk of weight gain by burning about 50 extra calories an hour. If you were to stand for 3 hours each workday it would equal out to 750 calories a week. Over the course of a full year that would equal about 30,000 extra calories burnt off, or about 8 lbs. of fat. In terms of activity levels, those 30,000 calories would be the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year!
4. Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
While an increase in blood sugar levels is expected after a meal, individuals with large spikes in blood sugar have a much higher risk of becoming diabetic. Blood sugar increases have also been linked to a general sense of poor health.
In 2013, a small study of 10 office workers showed that standing for 185 minutes after lunch reduced the workers’ blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting for the same period. The participants also wore pedometers which were analyzed and found that there were no significant changes in physical movements between the two groups. This indicates that the decrease in blood sugar levels was a function of standing vs. sitting.
Another study of 23 overweight office workers found that alternating every 30 minutes between standing and sitting reduced blood sugar spikes by an average of 11.1%. Diet and physical activity were monitored during the experimental period.
As shown by the above studies you can reduce blood sugar spikes and your risk of diabetes just by using a standing desk, no extra effort is required!
5. Improve Mood and Gain Energy
Sitting and increased sedentary time have been linked to an increased risk of both depression and anxiety. It stands to reason then, that standing would improve mood and increase happiness.
During the “Take-a-Stand Project” in 2011, a group of 24 office workers were provided with a standing desk. Participants self-reported improved mood states over the 4 week period where they reduced time spent sitting by an average of 66 minutes.
At the end of the 4-week intervention period, participants were asked a series of questions regarding the specific benefits of alternating between sitting and standing positions. Their responses were as follows:
“87% felt more comfortable, 87% felt energized, 75% felt healthier, 71% felt more focused, 66% felt more productive, 62% felt happier, and 33% felt less stressed as a result of having the sit-stand device installed at their workstations.”
Interestingly enough, when the sit-stand desks were removed, the participants reported a deterioration in mood. This suggests that using a standing desk needs to be a part of a complete lifestyle adjustment in order to obtain the full benefits.
6. Boost Your Productivity
One common concern among those interested in a standing desk is the ability to complete daily tasks such as typing or answering phone calls. Working while standing may take some getting used to, however, there has been no negative impact on daily activities reported by those using standing desks.
The boost in mood and energy, as well as the reduction in back, shoulder, and neck pain, is likely to improve productivity and mental alertness. When the body as a whole is in better shape, it functions more efficiently and it can be reasonably expected that this would in turn boost productivity.
The above benefits may not be the only ones you find as you try out this new lifestyle. Improvements in physical, metabolic, and mental health can impact your life in ways you never thought possible.
If you are considering changing to a standing desk, we recommend the FEZiBO Standing Desk. It is recommended that you ease into standing while working in short increments. The adjustability of the desktop, as well as the included seat, makes the FEZiBO Standing Desk a perfect transition into standing. This will give your body time to adjust to the new position and allow you to start reaping the benefits of standing right away.