Mix It Up with Sit-Stand Desks
From just about every direction—popular press, healthcare providers, scientific research, the list goes on—we’re told that sitting all day is killing us. The reality may be less dramatic, but our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are certainly detrimental to our long-term health.
Movement is key to maintaining wellness, and we’re not doing enough of it. An estimated 70% of the U.S. workforce sits in offices each day and the average American spends about 95% of his or her workday seated. The resulting health risks include premature spinal disc degeneration, lowered metabolism and a sluggish circulatory system. Standing all day may sound like an appealing idea, but has its own host of health problems including blood pooling in the lower extremities and even varicose veins. It’s also 20% harder on the body than sitting is. But if we shouldn’t be sitting all day, and constantly standing isn’t the solution either, what’s the alternative?
Ergonomists recommend using a sit-stand desk, which allows you to spontaneously stand and sit throughout the day. Alternating between sitting and standing postures has numerous benefits, including increasing circulation, relieving stress on the spine and muscles and mitigating the deleterious effects of prolonged sedentary behavior. And changing postures may even benefit your waistline. A 2009 Mayo Clinic study found that it was possible to burn an additional 340 calories per day by spending two hours standing instead of sitting. If that isn’t enough to get you on your feet every now and then, we don’t know what is.
So, if you’re looking to strike a balance between sitting or standing, try a sit-stand desk.