Have you given up on your standing desk? Did you take it on with a gung-ho commitment only to be discouraged by the same pain and fatigue had sitting? You most certainly aren’t alone if you’ve returned to sitting after a few weeks of concerted effort. Many hopeful adopters struggle to find the promised sweet spot. But we don’t want to you give up just yet, for there is so much benefit to using a standing desk the right way!
So to inspire and guide you in getting on track, we’ve compiled some of the most powerful reasons to keep at it, complemented by tips for finding that pain-free workflow.
1. Sedentary Lifestyle = Bad for the Brain
A study completed this year reports an association between sedentary behavior and the thinning of brain structures essential for memory formation. That’s right: memory formation. And — in the similar fashion that no amount of exercise can ‘undo’ the damage that is done by sitting too much — any effort to rebuild these brain structures by balancing out sitting with physical activity is apparently futile.
The proposed conclusion is then that our best bet for maintaining our bright minds is to avoid extended periods of sitting altogether. So don’t return to the chair for good just yet! Finding movement, and freedom with your standing desk is possible if you invest in the right chair designed to complement your set-up.
Appropriately, the most important spec to look for as you shop standing desk chairs to facilitate this movement is easy adjustability of the chair through positions to support the body in a healthy alignment through numerous postures, sit-to-stand. Lumbar and gluteal support for ‘standing’ and ‘perching’ positions is ideal, respectively. See the video below for reference on how an adjustable-height standing desk chair can function to achieve this movement.
2. Movement Fosters Focus
Prevailing research from StandUpKids on the link between physical activity and focus draws the correlation that a sedentary lifestyle amplifies ADHD symptoms; the primary factor being time spent sitting. According to the nonprofit — with a mission of combating the ‘epidemic’ of inactivity in our youth — teachers are observing firsthand how movement allows those who struggle to focus to expend their excess energy and sustain concentration.
Our era of internet noise, bottomless news feeds, and disruptive notification pop-ups builds its own case for finding creative ways to sustain real focus. And, following these insights, movement in the form of pacing, fidgeting, stretching, bouncing, rocking, and even dancing can help us to keep active and engaged despite distraction.
Our tip for realizing this subtle movement while using a standing desk is to look for a standing desk chair with springs built in to the seat to allow subtle bounce and movement within the body as you work — i.e. micro-movement.This movement will both prevent static, strained muscles and keep your body and mind engaged.
3. Standing While Digesting May Help Reduce Reflux and Heartburn
Perhaps this one is a bit odd, but according to registered dietician Alina Petre, standing up during digestion may reduce the likelihood of reflux or heartburn. So if you have a tendency toward either, you may benefit from working in a standing position post-lunch.
Just make sure your standing desk chair adjusts to provide lumbar support for a ‘lean’ posture, i.e. supported standing posture. This will allow you to ‘lean’ onto your chair rather than having to support your whole body on your own when working standing up. See the picture below for reference on what proper lumbar support looks like.
4. Active, Supported Standing Burns More Calories And Feels Better
According to research coordinated by Ergotron’s non-profit initiative, JustStand, standing for just three additional hours each day can burn up to 30,000 extra calories per year. A nice perk of this positively compounding effect is that when you get home at the end of a long day to relax into your couch, you can do it guilt free, not having sat on your rear end for 8+ hours.
We want to make an important distinction that, since our ultimate goal is to work pain-free, active and supported are the two operative words here for ‘feeling better’. Because whether sitting, standing, leaning, or perching, stillness is the enemy (see Sitting Disease), and support of the right chair through these positions of sit-to-stand is essential.
Thus, our advice for discovering this active, supported standing posture is to make sure the standing desk chair you purchase has a built-in anti-fatigue mat to lend extra relief and movement for the body when working upright.
5. Standing with Proper Posture Enables Deep Breath; Relieving Stress
It does seem a bit silly to issue a reminder, but breath is central to your health. Deep breath allows a full oxygen exchange within the body. It induces a ‘relaxation response’ that can curb the ‘fight or flight’ stress mode we sometimes find ourselves struck with, in difficult times at work. If not curbed, a sustained stress mode can lead to high blood pressure, suppression of the immune system, and anxiety and depression. So it’s important to keep it in check.
And the most important thing to know about breath — as it relates to your workstation setup — is that proper breathing goes hand and hand with proper posture. So any postural imbalance — such as a poorly aligned spine or tucked pelvis from sitting too much — will virtually guarantee unhealthy, unsuccessful breathing patterns.
The key to achieving this good posture and thus good breathing here is to look for a standing desk chair that supports your body in a ‘neutral spine’ posture through all working positions.
6. A Lot of Our Favorite Famous People Used Standing Desks
The list includes Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens. Surely, they were onto something ;)
In sum, making a standing desk part of your workflow is a commitment rich with benefits extending far beyond back pain relief. And a standing desk chair that’s easily adjustable, supports healthy posture, encourages movement, and alleviates fatigue will help you acclimate to your new standing life, much more easily.
We invite you to learn more about our LeanRite Elite chair, which hits all these marks! One of our biggest fans, Patrick Murphy with Pulse Fitness in Chicago, has much to say on its life-changing benefits. Check it out by clicking here or viewing below. And comment with any questions or concerns you’re having as you transition to sitting less and moving more with a standing desk.