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The Top Benefits of a Good Standing Desk

Explore the multifaceted benefits of a standing desk, from boosting health to enhancing productivity and mental wellness in your daily life.

Standing desks are one of the main combatants to a sedentary lifestyle and the stress your body endures while sitting most of the day. Even more, they can have a remarkable impact on your productivity and the performance of your work.

Ever since the early 1960s, business professionals have had to fend with a rising incidence of what is now commonly known as “sitting disease.” As more and more people continued to spend long hours sitting at a desk for work, the American workforce was also plagued by high rates of musculoskeletal ailments, mental health issues, and lagging productivity. To this day, people working desk jobs, whether at home or the office, continue to fend off these ailments.
A growing body of research has confirmed exactly what we’ve suspected: many of these struggles can be directly attributed to the sedentary nature of office work, specifically the excessive amount of time we spend sitting each day.

Thanks to the study and application of ergonomic concepts, though, viable solutions to the sitting epidemic are fast emerging. A few intentional adjustments to our workday routine, such as stretching and scheduling techniques, do a lot of good for workers who might otherwise spend too much time slouched in their chairs while staring at a screen with their necks craned.

What’s more, ergonomic office furniture, like the collection from Branch, is giving desk workers the chance to lead a healthier lifestyle while achieving higher productivity.
Perhaps the most iconic of these furnishings is the standing desk, which allows people to maintain better posture and get relief from the unending stretches of time spent in one position. Read on for more benefits of standing desks.

What Are the Main Benefits of Using a Standing Desk?

1. More movement for your body

The truth is that sitting doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. In fact, a huge part of what has made it so deleterious to workers’ health is the amount of time they spend in a chair. Let’s face it—spending over eight hours a day in any position, seated or otherwise, is inevitably going to cause some degree of health issues. Research shows that sitting for long, uninterrupted stretches of time has a tendency to cause bad posture, which in turn can lead to a wide range of ailments, from obesity and diabetes to higher levels of stress and anxiety. By using an adjustable desk that can accommodate either a sitting or standing position, you’re giving yourself the chance to add variation to the workday, thereby relieving the joints and muscles that hold more than their weight when you spend too much time sitting down. Though you’re only burning a few more calories while standing—eight an hour, to be precise—the main physical benefit is in a more balanced distribution of weight through your joints and muscles.

2. A Healthier Lifestyle

As more research comes out about the health impacts of sitting, the urgency of getting a standing desk becomes all the more clear. Two studies, one by Vanderbilt University and another by the Mayo Clinic, provided some pretty grim numbers for office workers: the average American spends about 55% of their waking hours in a seated position; and those who spend over eight hours seated each day without any physical activity “had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”
To better understand the causes and effects of poor posture, and what you can do about it today, explore our new Ergonomics 101 guide.
By getting a standing desk and adding some variety to your workday, you are less likely to suffer from any of the physical ailments that come with sitting for so many waking hours. One study published in Occupational Medicine demonstrates that a few hours spent standing at work—anywhere between two and four—could go a long way towards offsetting the negative health impacts of sitting for long stretches of time. Several studies have demonstrated that workers who switch to a standing desk report significant reductions in all forms of spinal distress, including lower back pain, upper back pain, and neck pain within a matter of weeks. And if that wasn’t enough evidence, reverting to a conventional desk tends to reverse those same health benefits within two weeks.

3. Improved Performance

It should go without saying that healthier physical habits help mind and body alike. And plenty of ergonomic research shows that this specifically applies to spending more time standing during the workday. One study released in 2012 shows that the vast majority of workers who switch to standing desks experienced increased energy levels throughout the day. A vast body of research takes this one step further, demonstrating that stress and anxiety are also greatly diminished just by reducing the amount of time spent sitting at work. For anyone who wants to lead a happier life without dramatically upending their lives and taking on a new career, the choice seems clear—using a standing desk is a surefire way to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

4. Higher Productivity

Employers across America have been opening up to the idea of standing desks for their employees—but that isn’t just because they support workers’ physical and mental well- being, right? Surely, the rising tide toward sit-stand desks must have something to do with companies’ bottom line!
Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what’s going on—workers with sit-stand desks are consistently more productive than those using conventional desks. And these improvements in productivity are anything but insignificant—one 2016 study, for instance, touted a “46% increase in workplace productivity with use of standing desks.” No wonder employers and workers alike swear by the benefits of a sit-stand desk—it improves the health of the worker and the business alike. Why not share these studies with your employer and let them know that it may be in their best interest to help you purchase one?

5. Musculoskeletal Problems

The ergonomic design of standing desks also plays a pivotal role in mitigating musculoskeletal problems commonly experienced by office workers. Height-adjustable desks, a staple in ergonomic office furniture, allow users to customize their workspace to suit their physical needs, soothing neck pain, lower back pain, and other musculoskeletal issues.

These desks encourage better posture, a crucial factor in supporting overall back health. By enabling users to easily switch between sitting and standing positions, sit-stand desks offer a dynamic work environment.

This variability in posture throughout the workday helps distribute physical strain more evenly across the body. For instance, alternating between sitting and standing can alleviate the pressure on the lower back, a common site for discomfort due to prolonged sitting.

Also, using a standing desk can support healthy blood flow in the legs, supporting overall circulation. Also, including accessories like anti-fatigue mats can further enhance the ergonomic benefits of standing desks. These mats are designed to reduce fatigue and discomfort in the legs and feet, making it easier to maintain good posture for extended periods.

6. Boosted Mental Health and Wellness

Standing desks do more than just support our physical health — they can have a profound impact on mental health and overall well-being. The active work posture encouraged by standing desks can lead to increased energy levels and mood, directly influencing mental wellness.

This boost in energy is especially beneficial for combating the mid-day slump often experienced during a long workday. Additionally, standing desks can play a role in soothing stress.

The physical activity associated with standing and moving, even minimally, can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. This can result in a more positive outlook and decreased stress levels, contributing to better mental health.

The benefits extend to cognitive functions as well. Increased blood flow and energy levels can support focus, alertness, and overall cognitive performance. This is particularly beneficial for tasks that require concentration and creative thinking.

The sense of control and variability that comes with using a standing desk can contribute to a feeling of empowerment and job satisfaction in the workspace.

How Can You Integrate a Standing Desk Into Your Daily Life?

Integrating standing desks into daily life requires a thoughtful approach to ensure they contribute positively to one’s lifestyle and work habits. For those new to standing desks, gradually introducing standing periods into the workday can help the body adjust without causing discomfort. Starting with short intervals, such as 15 to 30 minutes of standing followed by sitting, can make the transition smoother.

Incorporating a height-adjustable desk is ideal, as it allows for easy switching between sitting and standing positions. This flexibility ensures you can adapt your workspace to different activities and energy levels throughout the day.

For effective integration, paying attention to ergonomic setup in both standing and sitting positions is essential. Ensuring that the computer screen is at eye level and that there is proper support for the back and feet can enhance comfort and prevent strain.

Regular breaks are also crucial. Integrating short walks, stretches, or other physical activities can break the monotony of standing or sitting for long periods. This not only aids in physical health but also refreshes the mind.

Finally, standing desks should be viewed as part of a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. They are most effective when combined with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper rest, contributing to overall health and well-being. By thoughtfully integrating standing desks into daily routines, individuals can enjoy the full spectrum of benefits they offer.

Wrapping Up

The benefits of a standing desk extend far beyond physical health, encompassing mental wellness and lifestyle enhancement. At Branch, we could talk about the benefits of standing desks all day, but the fact of the matter is that they’re not the solution for all the health issues that come from the grueling nature of full-time office work.

A healthy exercise routine and diet are both essential components of a solid work-life balance. Getting a standing desk, though, is certainly a great start toward achieving physical and mental well-being. If you look in the right place, you won’t have to break the bank to take care of yourself.


The dangers of sitting: why sitting is the new smoking | Better Health Channel

The Facts Behind 'Sitting Disease' and Living Sedentary |

The truth behind standing desks | Harvard Health

Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? | Mayo Clinic

Energy expenditure of deskwork when sitting, standing or alternating positions | Occupational Medicine | Oxford Academic

Boosting productivity at work may be simple: Stand up | ScienceDaily

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