Standing Desk Benefits to Your Health

Posted by Michael Lipka on


Sitting 8 Hours a Day is Like Eating 2 Snickers. Every. Day.

Are You Sitting for 8 Hours a Day?

Standing at your desk for just 4 hours a day can burn over 400 more calories per day vs sitting.

That's equal to 2 Snickers Bars.

Every. Single. Day.

The American Cancer Society did a large, long-term study of 123,000 middle-aged adults and found that women who sat the most had a 34% greater risk of dying from any cause over the 14 years of the study versus those who sat the least.

For men it was even worse: the most sedentary had 50% greater risk than their more active counterparts.

Why is sitting so harmful? One reason may have to do with the relaxation effect it has on your largest muscles: your big bad gluteus maximus. Your butt. When your butt muscles relax, they soak up very little glucose from your blood which actually increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. And the level of good enzymes and good cholesterol in your body drop off a cliff.

Dr. James Levine at the Mayo Clinic, author of the term NEAT or "non exercise activity thermogenesis" found "that as people get up, particularly in corporations, productivity improves, they’re more alert, they’re more creative. Things are just getting better and better the more and more people get up.” Hard to argue with this video: Dr. James Levine on standing up

What about that whole 2 Snickers thing?

At DeskRiser, we talk a lot about the benefits of standing desks. Of course, we're biased, being that we operate a marketplace for manual standing desks, electric standing desks, kids standing desks, and standing desk accessories. But we started this business for a reason: to bring health and wellness to work places and schools. 

More than anything, standing desks get you off your chair and increase the likelihood that you will move more. It is all about movement. The average women at 160 lbs will burn 285 calories more per day when she stands 4 hours and sits 4 hours (vs sitting 8 hours). The average man at 200 lbs will burn 376 calories more per day when he stands 4 hours and sits 4 hours (vs sitting 8 hours). That's the equivalent of eating nearly 2 Snicker bars PER DAY! 

Here's a good table showing the benefits of standing desks for men and women:

Calories Burned Using a Standing Desk

Obviously, this doesn't mean you should use our desk risers so that you can eat 2 snickers bars per day and maintain the same weight. It does, however, highlight the powerful impact standing desks can have on your overall health and wellness. And really, adding standing desks to a corporate wellness program or a wellness program for schools is just the first step. 

If you follow our guidelines on overall health and wellness, you will want to also consider fitness tracking products, nutrition, exercise programs, yoga and mental health.

Still not convinced of the benefits of standing desks?

Here's a good list of references for those skeptics out there:

Buckley JP1, Mellor DD, Morris M, Joseph F. - Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Feb;71(2):109-11

Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, Bajaj RR, Silver MA, Mitchell MS, Alter DA. - Sedentary time and its association with risk for disease incidence, mortality, and hospitalization in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jan 20;162(2):123-32

Thorp AA1, Kingwell BA, Sethi P, Hammond L, Owen N, Dunstan DW. - Alternating bouts of sitting and standing attenuate postprandial glucose responses. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Feb;71(2):109-11

Thorp AA1, Kingwell BA2, Owen N3, Dunstan DW4. - Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Nov;71(11):765-71

Ognibene GT1, Torres W, von Eyben R, Horst KC. - Impact of a Sit-Stand Workstation on Chronic Low Back Pain: Results of a Randomized Trial. J Occup Environ Med. 2016 Mar;58(3):287-93

Here is also a great study done on bus conductors in London, who spent their working hours walking the length of the buses as well as climbing up and down the stairs of the English double-decker buses to collect fares.

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