Seven Ways A Sit-Stand Workstation Contributes To A Healthy Lifestyle
Sit-Stand workstations are changing the way people work at their computers, helping minimize the impact of a sedentary lifestyle. Here are seven ways regularly using a sit-stand at your office or home office benefits your personal health.
1. Reduce Lower Back Aches and Pains
In a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine “Impact of a Sit-Stand Workstation on Chronic Low Back Pain Results in a Randomized Trial,” Stanford University researchers concluded that lower back pain may be improved through the use of sit-stand workstations. Postural variation, or the intermittent transition from sitting to standing, was the key difference noted between the use of traditional and sit-stand desks in the study. Of the sit-stand users, 78% had a pain-free day compared to those who worked at a traditional desk or workstation. Sit-stand participants reported significantly less back pain, neck pain and an increase in the ability to concentrate due to the reduction in pain. The participants experienced a difference in approximately 15 days after the sit-stand installation.
2. Be More Productive and Get Moving
Movement throughout the work day improves productivity. Brief exercises during a 9-5 day boost energy, engagement with co-workers and efficiency. According to exercise physiologist Jack Groppel, movement and exercise, even on a minimal level, stimulate blood flow and oxygenation to the brain-a sense of feeling better which boosts productivity so you can get back to work.
3. Stop the Negative Impact Sitting Has on Your Life
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that too much sitting increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Excessive sitting has also been linked to a shorter lifespan. These results are alarming considering that more than half of the average person’s day is spent entirely sedentary, whether watching TV or working on a computer. The researchers also found that those who exercised regularly improved their odds, though fitness routines did not completely undo the negative impact of chronic sitting.
Why is Sitting So Bad?
Long periods of sitting slows the metabolism, which impacts the body’s ability to regulate glucose, blood pressure and the ability of the body to break down fat. The solution is to keep moving. This includes exercise as well minimizing a sedentary lifestyle as much as possible. Active seating solutions, including sit-stand desks, are useful ways to introduce movement while working in an office setting.
4. Improving Metabolic Health
Long periods of sitting sometimes results in what is known as metabolic syndrome. This a combination of medical conditions including abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated glucose, low HDL and high triglycerides. Overall metabolic syndrome increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes. By incorporating periodic standing and movement during the day, along with the best lunchtime workouts, anyone concerned about pre-diabetes can boost metabolism and contribute to overall health.
5. Improving Cardiovascular Health
Studies show that adults with a sedentary lifestyles are at greater risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease. In fact, 35% of coronary heart disease mortality is due to physical inactivity. Simple lifestyle changes such as including standing and moving during the day can help improve cardiovascular health.
6. Contributing to a Positive Attitude
Just like the body, physical activity and standing help enhance mental health as well. A study of nearly 9,000 women found that those who sat for seven hours per day-and were physically inactive-were three times as likely to have symptoms of depression than individuals who sat for fewer than four hours. An additional boost of positive energy wouldn’t hurt, even if exercise is already part of your lifestyle. Standing up during the day and making time to move can help your mood.
7. Increasing Micro-Movements Throughout the Day
Micro-movements are incremental movements we make throughout the day, such as fidgeting, pacing and stretching. Studies show that micro-movements benefit overall health, reducing stress and enhancing mental sharpness. A sit-stand routine helps introduce micro-movements into your work day. Start out by sitting and standing in periods that fit your comfort level. Regular use of your sit-stand will eventually help you determine the ideal routine for staying flexible and energized by alternating positions. During the standing periods, you may also go for a brief walk around the office or stretch to contribute more to your micro-movement workout.