Modern society now offers a slew of electronic conveniences that mean you never have to leave your seat to complete most tasks or purchase goods.
While the efficiency can be helpful, the truth is that we’re more inactive now than ever. Worse still, exercise routines may not be enough. How can you compensate? Turns out, standing desks benefit weight loss efforts and aid in building a healthy, non-sedentary lifestyle.
The Dangers of the Sedentary Lifestyle
Over time, doctors have found more and more evidence to suggest that sedentary behavior such as sitting raises the risk of obesity factors, and it can even shorten your life by at least two years. A pair of studies published in 2017 in Annals of Internal Medicine (as reported by CNN) supports this correlation.
The physiological reasons are still being studied. Sitting is known to impact how efficiently the human body can produce insulin and process glucose. It’s also been linked to sharp reductions in an enzyme critical to breaking down fats in the blood for use as fuel by muscles, a drop which directly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Can Standing Desks Actually Benefit Weight Loss?
A recent BBC report discussed a study that looked at the benefits of standing desks for three to four hours during the work day versus sitting as usual. While the group was small and the research was conducted over the course of one week, they used accelerometers to gauge sitting versus standing as well as heart rate and glucose monitors.
The results were astonishing. As measured by heart rate, standing burnt 0.7 kcal per minute. If that doesn’t sound like much, you just need to do a little math. Assuming an individual stood for three hours daily, they’d burn 750 kcal over the course of a five day work week. Multiply that over the course of a year, and that’s an additional 30,000 kcal burnt during the year.
Actionable Tips to Avoid Being Sedentary
First and foremost, we strongly recommend you start with a personalized weight loss plan to help you get the right combination of nutrition, exercise, and medication from the start. From there, try these strategies to amplify your efforts:
- Stand as frequently as possible. The less you can sit, the better the impact is for your health.
- Lose weight by standing at work by adding a standing desk to your workplace, and you’ll be able to continue working efficiently and reduce the temptation to sit.
- Consider getting a convertible standing desk at the beginning of your weight loss plan so you can move seamlessly between sitting and standing to reduce interruptions to your workflow.
- Don’t forget that you need to move. While standing has an immediate and positive impact, taking a walking break of at least five minutes for every 30 minutes of holding still (especially sitting) will further reduce the health risks of being sedentary.
- If you can’t stand for long periods while working or use a standing desk, reap calorie-burning benefits by working in standing up as often as possible. Get up to talk to your colleague or manager instead of sending an email. Stand whenever you’re on the phone. Take the stairs as often as possible. Even small adjustments will help reduce risks associated with prolonged sedentariness.
- Apply the same adjustments at home. Remember, you want to keep your total daily sedentary hours as low as possible. What’s more, it will help establish the behavior as a habit.
Losing weight through a proper diet and regular exercise is important to maintaining your health, but that may not be enough to ensure a longer, healthier, and active life. The changes you make need to be holistic and touch every element of your life, including work and your downtime. It’s wise to shift away from a sedentary lifestyle and incorporate more movement. Standing desks along with new easy weight loss habits, like standing while you talk on the phone, have a direct and positive impact, even in small measures.