Quick, are you standing while reading this? If you’re sitting, you may be putting your health at risk. 


Medical experts around the globe agree that prolonged sitting is unhealthy. The Mayo Clinic notes that sitting for long periods has been linked to obesity and a cluster of illnesses often referred to as metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, and unhealthy cholesterol or triglyceride levels. And metabolic syndrome increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


Makes you want to stand up, doesn’t it? 


Enter the standing desk. Using a standing desk has been linked to longer life spans, fewer health complications, less pain, better job performance, and better moods—a substantial gain from a piece of furniture that only costs a few hundred bucks and will last you for many years to come. 


Here’s a quick look at the benefits of using a standing desk. 

4 Science-Backed Standing Desk Benefits 

1. Sitting Less Can Help You Live Longer

Let’s start with the perkiest perk: The less you sit, the longer you may live. 


A sedentary lifestyle doubles your risk of premature death. The correlation between sedentary time and mortality increases on a sliding scale, with risk becoming more pronounced at 7.5, 9, 10, or 12 sedentary hours each day—and “a statistically significantly higher risk of death” has been observed in people who are sedentary for 9.5 or more hours each day. 


You can reduce this risk by introducing more standing and movement into your daily routine—and you don’t need to become a marathon runner to reap the results. The National Institute for Health and Care Research in Wales notes that even “light intensity physical activity, such as walking, cooking, or gardening” can reduce your risk of early death, and an extensive UK study reveals that just 4.4 minutes of vigorous exercise per day is associated with a reduced risk of cancer mortality. 


Stand and move as often as you can until it becomes part of your daily routine. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body on its feet tends to stay on its feet. 

2. Sitting Less Can Reduce Chronic Health Risks

The correlation between sitting for long periods and early mortality makes sense—because the more time you spend sedentary, the more you increase your risk of obesity, spinal issues, and cardiovascular conditions like heart disease.  


The simplest way to reduce these risks? Get on your feet. A study published by the American Diabetes Association in 2016 found that breaking up sitting with short bouts of standing or walking improved glucose and insulin levels in women at high risk for type 2 diabetes. 

3. Standing Can Reduce Aches and Pains

Sitting often leads to slouching. And slouching leads to abdominal cramps and neck, shoulder, back, and hip pain. Ouch. 


It’s not surprising that all these aches and pains can make you feel lousy: A small study of Iranian workers found that discomfort or pain in the neck, lower back, and thighs resulted in fatigue and correlated with decreased concentration and productivity.


Maintaining good ergonomics and periodically standing during the workday can alleviate joint pressure and reduce discomfort. A 12-month study of sit-stand desk use among Japanese workers found that workers who sat less experienced less neck and back pain, including fewer reports of “lower back problems [that] prevented them from carrying out normal activities.” The study praised the “effectiveness of a sit-stand desk in reducing sedentary behavior and improving workers’ health and productivity.”

4. Standing Can Boost Performance and Well-Being

The study of Japanese workers mentioned above revealed a few more long-term positive benefits when measuring outcomes at 6 and 12 months: Improved work engagement, job performance, and recovery from occupational fatigue were consistently observed in sit-stand desk users.


When study participants were asked to assess their own performance, they reported improvements in as little as 4 weeks. They also reported reduced anxiety at the 6- and 12-month marks. 


A UK study found similar results for adjustable-height desk users over a period of 12 months, noting small improvements in stress, well-being, and energy in participants who stood more at work. The study highlighted that “the addition of a height-adjustable desk was found to be threefold more effective” than other measures to encourage more standing time. 

Take a Stand for Your Health and Well-Being

It’s pretty cool that a single piece of furniture can have so much positive impact on your health and well-being, especially when you make it part of your daily routine. 


If you’re ready to sit less and swap out your old-school desk for a standing desk, we’ve got a few resources for you: 



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