An overly stationary lifestyle is linked to a higher chance of developing a disease later in life, studies have shown. Extensive sitting can cause cardiovascular disease, an increase for cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
According to a study published by the American College of Physicians, extensive sitting, such as sitting at a desk for hours on end, was associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity. So, even if you think that sitting all day is not going to harm you — as long as you get your workout in at some point — you might be wrong.
These extensive studies have prompted many to try out standing desks. For those who are skeptical that standing desks have any real effects besides looking like that guy in the office, a recent study may be the proof that you need one. According to the study conducted by the University of Iowa, employees with standing decks stand 60 minutes more a day at work compared to their co-workers who had normal desks.
Additionally, the study reveals that those who had standing desks walked up to an additional six minutes a day throughout the office. This may not seem like much, but according to the research, the participants consequently burned up to 87 more calories per day than their co-workers.
While burning less than 100 calories a day from standing at your desk doesn’t sound like much, it could have more of an impact than you think, especially because according to the article published by IU, sedentary jobs have risen 83% since 1960 and now account for 43% of all jobs in the United States. This extra sitting, therefore, accounts for the up to 80% that workers tend to sit a day and could have an impact on long-term health effects. And according to researchers of the study, this information could be important in fighting the obesity epidemic in the United States.
“Studies suggest American workers today burn roughly 100 calories-less each day while at work compared to American workers in 1960. This decline in occupational energy expenditure is thought to play a substantial role in the rising obesity epidemic we have observed over that same time period,” Dr. Lucas Carr, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology, said in the study. “Our findings are important because they support redesigning the traditionally sedentary office environment as a potentially cost-effective approach for fighting the obesity epidemic.”
However, the study shows that Carr does realize in order to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, there needs to be much more physical activity than just going out and buying a standing desk. According to the study, standing more at work could contribute to successful weight maintenance, but it does acknowledge that standing alone is not likely to cause someone to lose weight.
So, while a standing desk may only seem like a small thing, remember all the little things have the potential to turn into a big thing.