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Beat “Sitting Disease” with a Better Desk at Work

On top of cutting your risk for chronic diseases, switching to a standing workstation can reduce pain and boost mood, energy levels, and productivity, according to a new CDC report.

Sitting on your butt all day doesn’t just make you tired; it puts you at risk for some pretty serious health problems. In fact, sitting has been dubbed the “new smoking” because camping out in a chair for six or more hours a day ups your odds for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and premature death.

Unfortunately, most office dwellers spend over half of their waking hours seated, and that 8 to 11 hours is enough to up your risk of early death by 15 percent. But you have to bring home a paycheck, and that calls for a lot of sitting, right? Not necessarily—new research from the CDC suggests that switching to sit-stand workstation can help scale back on sitting time and boost overall health.

When participants in a seven-week experiment known as the Take a Stand Project received workstations that allowed them to sit or stand as they wished, they reduced their sitting time by about 66 minutes per day. Meanwhile, a control group that did not receive sit-stand desks increased sitting time throughout the course of the study.

The group that used standing desks reported:

• Less upper back and neck pain
• Less depression and confusion
• Fewer mood disturbances

A one-hour decrease in daily sitting time also made participants feel:

• 87% more energized
• 87% more comfortable
• 75% healthier
• 66% more productive

So, how are you going to decrease your sit time without stacking books under your computer? Check out Ergotron’s WorkFit-C, LCD & Laptop Sit-stand Workstation, which we reviewed earlier this year. Or take things a step further (literally), and try the TrekDesk, a portable workstation that fits any treadmill. If those aren’t options for you, make small changes to move more by cutting back on the time you spend planted in front of the TV, keeping up with your workouts, and making it a goal to sit five minutes less each day.

What's your "sitting disease" risk? Plug your stats into JustStand.org's Sitting-Time Calculator to find out! 

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