By now, everyone knows that there are health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and this includes sitting for extended periods at a desk. Humans were not designed to do desk work and it can be difficult to get the ergonomics of desks right to minimize the risk of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel, upper-cross syndrome, or tendinitis. Standing desks offer a wonderful alternative to sitting desks because they are easier to arrange ergonomically and help avoid many of the health risks associated with being too sedentary.
While it may seem dramatic, the evidence is clear that sitting is simply not healthy. The more people sit, the greater risk they have for developing serious health conditions. Standing may not seem like exercise, but it avoids many of the negative health consequences of sitting. In addition to improving your body, standing also seems to stimulate brain activity, which means a standing desk could actually make you more productive at work.
One of the biggest physical complaints mentioned by people with desk jobs is back and neck pain. People are just much more likely to slump and slouch if they are seated at a computer. Standing desks encourage people to move, which means not maintaining a fixed position for overly long periods of time. Moving around while at a standing desk may not substitute for exercise, but it does help prevent these neck and back pains.
Many people moved to remote-based work environments when COVID-19 hit, and there has been a lot of reports of people gaining COVID-19 weight. While some of that weight gain is probably due to stress-eating, it is also due to a reduction in activity. If you were an office worker, you probably did not realize how often you moved around until you were working from home. While standing is not going to substitute for cardio, it can help burn extra calories and increase your heart rate, which, in turn, can lower your risk of serious diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and even cancer!
The biggest difference people may feel after changing to a standing desk is a reduce in stress. If you are standing, you are more likely to move. People who move more have better physical and mental health. The difference may be subtle, but over time people report being better able to handle stressors and feeling less anxiety when given the opportunity to stand while working.