Last year, a study came out that basically said sitting all day at work increases the risk of early death. Naturally, once people started reading that, standing desks became more popular.
I’ll never forget how my coworkers and I pretty much begged our supervisors to look into getting standing desks for us when this news hit. We even started DIY-ing standing desks ourselves by setting our computers on top of piles of random books from the office.
It was a nice fix, but little did we know, we weren’t exactly doing ourselves any good.
See, we were under the impression (like most people) that using a standing desk would help us burn more calories and avoid the post-lunch slump. And maybe it did a little bit. But at the end of the day, either standing or sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of diabetes, weight gain and heart disease.
Based on this study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, people who stood at work only burned off two more calories than people who sat all day.
So what are we supposed to do?
The answer may just simply be to fidget and move around more. Really, it’s much better for your overall health to take frequent breaks, get up and move around at work. Gretchen Reynolds who covered the study in The New York Times reports,
Walking was a different matter. When the volunteers walked for 15 minutes, even at a fairly easy pace, they burned about three times as many calories as when they sat or stood.
Three times as many calories?! Obviously just using a standing desk isn’t going to cut it. Besides, standing all day at work has its own set of physical consequences that affect your spine and lower back.
Look, if you’re worried that sitting or standing too much is going to kill you, don’t.A better idea is to set reminders for yourself to get up and move around. Give your eyes a break from your screen and your body a break from sitting in a chair a couple of times a day and you should be f.