5 Benefits of a Standing Desk

Studies show that more than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting: watching television, working at a computer, commuting, or doing other physically inactive pursuits. While sitting down is usually associated with being relaxed, it can end up putting a lot more stress on your joints and muscles than you might initially expect. Also, people who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and overweight.

This becomes a major problem for office workers, as they sit down for most of the day. Dr. Hepler, spine surgeon in Palm Beach County, say that back pain due to sitting is a frequent issue his patients report. While it is not easy to change a job or working conditions, spine surgeon in Palm Beach County suggests office workers to follow these simple rules to avoid back pain:

  • Control the posture while sitting. Follow the ergonomics of a working place to ensure your position is comfortable but brings minimum damage for your health.
  • Set a timer to take short breaks. Every hour or two, take a break from sitting, stretch your back and neck, walk a bit, do some simple exercises
  • Use phone or skype conversation as a possibility to stand up. Order bluetooth headphones or simply use headphones with long enough wire.
  • Request a standing desk and shift sitting and standing

What Is a Standing Desk?

A standing desk, also called a stand-up desk, is basically a desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Many modern versions are adjustable, so that you can change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing.

Although research is still in early stages, it does appear that using a standing desk can have impressive benefits for health. It may also increase productivity.

At the very least, using this type of desk can partly negate the harmful effects of sitting too much, says Dr. Hepler, spine surgeon in Palm Beach County. Here are 5 benefits of using a standing desk, that are supported by science.

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1. Standing Lowers Your Risk of Overweight and Diabetes

Long hours of sitting increases the release of insulin into our bloodstream. The body reacts to this increased insulin production by storing fat. Situation escalates if you suffer from insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. This is a very significant factor that contributes to obesity in people. Without exercising and keeping a balanced diet , you risk to develop an overweight. The easiest thing you can do is to switch to standing when possible, Dr. Hepler, a spine surgeon in Palm Beach County, suggests.

While standing you also burn more calories comparing to sitting. In fact, when compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories . That’s almost 1000 extra calories burned each week from simply standing at your desk each afternoon.

Standing is also believed to minimize the effects of sugar level burst. In a small study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time.

3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

An increase in sitting time raises your chances of developing cardiovascular problems like blood clots, heart disorders, blood vessels being narrowed by fat accumulation, rising cholesterol levels, strokes, etc. All are due in part to the slower flow of the blood in the body and slower or reduced fat burning by the muscles. In fact, these long hours are believed to increase your risk for heart disease significantly.

4. No More Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common complaints of office workers who sit most of the day. Due to constant pressure on the spine, decreased muscular activity, poor posture, office workers often experience neck pain, lower back pain, shoulders dysfunctions and knee problems, say  Dr. Hepler, a spine surgeon in Palm Beach County

Standing desk is an alternative solution that a lot of companies implement now. Studies also show that participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after few weeks of using standing desk.

However, if you are unable to get a standing desk at work, try to make frequent short breaks from sitting, stretch your back, or do a little walking.

5. Standing Desks Help Improve Mood and Energy Levels

Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being.

In one 7-week study, participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire work day. Additionally, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased and energy throughout the day.

These findings align with broader research on sitting and mental health, which links sedentary time with an increased risk of both depression and anxiety.

Need advice or consultation with orthopedic spine surgeon in Palm Beach County?

Dr. Hepler is an adult and pediatric orthopedic spine surgeon in Palm Beach County. He treats all conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and also provides spinal stenosis treatment in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton. Additionally, he provides non-operative treatment options, such as pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy, as well as operative treatment, including both minimally invasive techniques and complex reconstruction. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, visit our website or simply give us a call. We are here to make you stronger and healthier!


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.