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Why are standing desks so popular?

Woman using standing desk at home officeMore and more these days office workers are asking about switching to a standing desk. As physical therapists we will recommend that patients stand throughout the day or try to get away from their desk periodically to get movement in the body and relieve pressure on backs and necks. Research continues to surface showing the health benefits of standing and the adverse consequences of sitting on your body. Here are a few key points.

  1. standing for a 3-4 hour period during the day burns approximately 170 more calories than sitting, which is over 750 calories a week!

  2. Excessive sedentary time (i.e. sitting) increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 112% vs those that are more active.

  3. Daily prolonged inactivity increases the risk of a cardiovascular event by 149%

  4. Standing during the day can decrease neck and back by up to 47% over a 4 week period as found by a CDC study in 2012.

  5. Lastly it is a lot harder to fall asleep after lunch if you are standing!

Buckley, John P., et al. "Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion." Occupational and environmental medicine (2013): oemed-2013.

Pronk, Nicolaas P. "Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011." Preventing chronic disease 9 (2012).

Wilmot, Emma G., et al. "Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis." Diabetologia 55 (2012): 2895-2905.