Standing Desks: The Easiest Way To Transition Out Of A Sedentary Lifestyle

Professionals who reduce the amount of time they spend while seated for more than an hour a day tend to live longer, according to research by the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. As further suggested by the researchers, the fastest and easiest way to transition from a sedentary lifestyle into a healthier one may be best done with the help of a sit-to-stand desk.

According to their research, sit-to-stand workstations, with heights that can be programmed according to the preference of the user, can aid in cutting down the sitting time of an average worker by 84 to 116 minutes every day. Versus traditional desks, sit-to-stand desks are more effective at keeping their users comfortable and healthy, analysts found.

As noted by the researchers, the majority of today's general population work in industries where they are required or forced to live an inactive lifestyle. As suggested further by the researchers, these individuals are highly likely to develop back issues, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, muscular issues, and diabetes," Shrestha said by email.

The researched further looked into the time people spent seated, or the time they spent before switching up their work positions. The investigation returned with what may be some shocking results: individuals from developed nations tend to deal with sedentary lifestyles the most. This, coupled with poor work routines, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and other reasons may lead to medical issues such as weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, among others.

Ideally, you should spend no less than 2 hours at a time in front of the computer or seated on your desk. Within a day, your total seating time should only be as much as 4 hours. Unfortunately, the reality is very different, and in some instances, professionals today spend 8 hours, at minimum.

The new research involved a total of 34 different related studies discussing the lifestyle, with a sum of just about 3,400 subjects. A large number of these studies looked into the physical changes in workplaces that are intended to encourage individuals to leave their seats once in awhile and to live a more active lifestyle. Some studies, however, focused on the opportunity to provide counseling to professionals and giving them advice regarding living a better lifestyle.

Although advising workers to live a less sedentary lifestyle, research further showed that offering these advice were not as effective as changing workplaces and environments entirely. Unfortunately, the authors of these various studies noted that it was difficult to conclude whether sit-to-stand desks were more effective than standing desks, since they worked similarly in essence.

Beyond the standing desk trend, treadmill desks have also recently found foothold in the industry. Like with sit-to-stand desks, it was difficult to gauge whether these worked better than their solitary counterparts.

What has been concluded for certain by these studies however, is that working from a standing desk taking long breaks could aid in cutting down time spent sitting down at work. One other effective technique that has helped in inspiring desk professionals to change their lifestyle was to remind them daily about the risks of sitting. When prompted, research showed that these professionals were likely to walk for an average of 10 to 19 minutes a day.

A Caveat from Scientists

Although the study conducted by the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia aimed to identify the best workplace change to keep workers on their feet, behavior medicine analysts at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City stand by the results yielded in a similar study. For individuals who want to effectively and efficiently cut their sitting hours short, sit-to-stand desks are still the best office equipment to have.