Let’s face it: desk jobs are hard on your body. Sitting all day has extensive negative ramifications on your back, spine, shoulders, and neck. But that’s not it. Here’s how sitting all day can affect your body and compromise your health, and why a standing desk might be the best solution:
You Gain Weight
Sitting all day at your job is a surefire way to gain weight. You burn significantly less calories sitting than you do standing (according to Shape Magazine, 30 less calories an hour!), and your tummy is typically hit the hardest. This type of weight gain increases your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.
You Lose Muscle Mass
When you don’t use it, you lose it. Being sedentary means that you’re not using your muscles, and lost muscle mass is hard to get back! Combat muscle atrophy by moving your body whenever you can. Performing just one minute of squats and/or lunges at your desk periodically is a great way to work your major muscle groups regularly!
Your Body Gets Tight—and Not in a Good Way
Your hips, back, neck, and shoulders get tight and cranky when you sit for extended periods throughout the day. A great way to help keep them loose is to mindfully stretch for 30 seconds, every 30 minutes or so.
So…what is the alternative to a conventional desk?
A Standing Desk
Seriously—the best decision we’ve ever made. (Ernest Hemingway apparently used one waaayyy before they were all the rage!) A standing desk is an adjustable desk that can be both sitting or standing, so you can stand for a couple of hours, then sit for 30 minutes, then stand again. It’s amazing.
The Smithsonian listed the following 5 benefits to using a standing desk over a conventional one:
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower long-term mortality risk
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced risk of cancer
Standing desks are becoming more and more popular, as science uncovers the health hazards of sitting all day at work. Consider investing in one, and remember: if Hemingway did it, it’s cooler than it sounds.