This list of benefits to using a standing desk are a just a few of the best benefits I have experience, or found backed by research and experience.
Standing at your desk can negate the harmful risks of sitting all day and put you on a path to benefiting from walking and standing more while you work. This list of health benefits to using standing desks is so that you can improve your overall health and workplace experience by choosing to stand at work.
Most people sit all day at work, some longer than 8 hours, and sitting for prolonged periods of time is proven to be detrimental to your health.
We pulled together this list of 50 health benefits of standing at your desk from our own personal experience, and we looked for the best research and opinions about using a standing desk to help round out these benefits of using a standing desk.
Hopefully, these benefits will help convince you to start standing at a standing desk!
TLDR: Top 10 Benefits to using a Standing Desk:
- You will be more productive
- Better Mood
- Healthier thank smoking
- Increased Energy
- Increased Blood Flow
- Improved Workplace Heart Health
- Strengthens your legs
- Strengthens your core
- More flexible
- Less risk for long term disease
50 Health Benefits to Using a Standing Desk:
1. You will be More Productive
Studies show that people who stand while working are more productive, and when utilizing standing desks or sit to stand desk converters across the entire workplace, the entire company benefits from increased productivity. Researchers found that employees were 53% more productive over a 6-month period in a study of call center productivity. I know personally that when I switched to a sit to stand converter desk I was noticeably more productive at work.
2. Better Mood
When I started standing my mood improved greatly. I didn’t notice it at first. As I moved around more and engaged with my coworkers I wondered, “Why isn’t everyone as positive as I am.” Now, I am not usually the Mr. Positivity at the office, and I credit my increased mood to standing more and feeling the results of many of these benefits.
3. Healthier Than Smoking
You have probably heard by now that “sitting is the new smoking.” The reason for this is that studies are showing that sitting for extended periods of time are starting to carry the same risks of smoking. So, first of all – it is good to not smoke, and second it is even better – to not sit all day long. The worst-case scenario would be a smoker who sits all day. Not a good combination.
4. Increased Energy
Extended amounts of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle have proven to lead to a decrease of energy. Once I switched to standing at my desk, I had more energy at work, more energy in meetings, and was more engaged. It goes hand in hand with increased mood.
5. Increased Blood Flow
Sitting at your desk for 90% of the day reduces blood circulation to the vital areas of your body. You improve your blood flow by standing and moving more at work. This in turn has a cascading effect on the other benefits of using a standup desk.
6. A Healthier Heart
Speaking of cascading effect – people who live more sedentary lifestyles are at increased risk of cardio vascular diseases. This is where sitting is compared to smoking, because the multiple outcomes of sedentary lifestyles i.e. high blood pressure, hypertension etc.
7. Strengthens Your Legs
This is pretty obvious, but if you start standing at your desk for most of the day your legs will get noticeably stronger. For the first few days you will definitely feel it. Over time, you will be thankful as you reap the benefits of nice strong legs.
When I started using a sit to stand converter desk, my legs were very tired and I took more frequent breaks. Over time, I could stand much longer as my legs were stronger.
8. Strengthens Your Core
I was shocked that my core was also becoming stronger the longer I used a standing desk. I soon discovered that while you are standing, your core is engaged to ensure you maintain posture, and is working in concert with your legs and upper body throughout the entire day.
When you sit, your core is not engaged and is at rest. However, your abs are working behind the scenes to keep you upright while standing, therefore getting stronger.
9. Better Runner
If you like to run, or are thinking about trying to run more, converting to standing will get you in better shape for running more frequently and longer. Stronger legs, joints, and core are all benefits to becoming a better runner and will help anyone with a goal of becoming a better runner.
10. Less Risk for Diseases
The combined benefits listed in this post all lead to a reduced risk of disease. By deciding to use a standing desk at work you will reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and everyday ailments that you’re sitting counterparts will likely be at greater risk to experience.
11. More Flexible
Sitting for extended periods of time causes your hips and the muscles of your legs to tighten up. Tighter hips/hamstrings/quadriceps lead to other problems and injuries that someone might not realize was from sitting all day long.
By standing at your desk you increase the flexibility of your hips and legs which in turn releases the strain on your back and other parts of your body. I also found that while I stand at my desk, I casually do standing stretches as I read and talk to people throughout the day.
12. Reduced Risk for Injury
This ties into being more flexible and not having tight muscles and joints throughout your body. Increased flexibility from using a standup desk will help prevent future injuries to associated muscles in joints. Word of Caution: ensure that while you are standing that you maintain good posture, and that you take breaks from standing at your desk as well. I generally try not to stand longer than 4 hours straight at a time.
13. Better for Your Hips
Sitting for a long time leads to tight hips. Standing at your desk leads to more flexible hips – which is a good thing
14. Better for Your Back
Increased flexibility reduces the strain on your back and helps prevent lower back problems. Additionally, if you do not have a good ergonomic chair, you could be sitting with improper curvature of your back. By standing at your desk, you allow your back to stretch out into its natural position and reduce the pressure that other muscles could place on your back.
15. More Confidence
I immediately felt more confident and sure of myself at work when using a standing desk. Talking to other people who are standing while you are sitting is a submissive position to be in. When you are standing you are eye to eye and engaged more dynamically. I also felt more confident on the phone even, simply from standing and feeling/sounding more focused and thoughtful in my ideas.
16. Better Work Environment
When I walk into an office of people who are standing at their desks there is a completely different buzz from the next office over where everyone is sitting. First, you know that everyone is standing because they want to better themselves in some way. Second, they are all feeling more productive, better moods, and more confident as they work together.
I have visited buildings where every single desk is some form of a standing desk! Every employee can stand or sit at their leisure. These companies are on to something. You could instantly recognize that this workplace was energetic and productive.
17. Better Relationships with Co-Workers
When I moved to my new job and started to stand at my desk I was more engaging with my co-workers on a day to day basis. I found myself developing better work relationships and looking forward to engaging with members of our company every day. Previously I sat all day and rarely saw the people I worked with. When I did see them I was more worried about a suspense or meeting request that some person or boss was expecting.
18. You will Send Less E-mail
Standing at your desk will definitely cause you to send way less email. You will want to walk and talk to the people you work with or pick up the phone and engage with somebody. I frequently receive emails from people that sit right across from me and will simply walk over and start working with them in person.
19. More Mobile at Work
No brainer here – being on my feet made me more mobile and prone to walk down the hall, go upstairs, take a walk to clear my mind simply because I am already standing up. This increased mobility is a pre-cursor to many other benefits of standing desk at your desk.
20. Stronger Glutes
This is part of getting stronger legs – but believe it or not your glutes will also get firmer and stronger from standing at your desk. It’s just a fact that a direct outcome of standing for longer periods of time will firm up all the muscles of your legs, including your glutes, if that is your thing. (I know mine did)
21. Burn More Calories
When compared to sitting, standing during the same period of time will burn about 100 more calories per hour, depending on each individual person. That could be up to 800 calories per day, and 4000 calories per week. This does not take into account the additional walking and moving that you will unquestionably be doing throughout the day. Which leads to the next point….
22. Lose Weight
I lost about 5 pounds in the first three months of using a standing desk. If you are burning 4000 additional calories a week, and living a healthy lifestyle, you will lose weight. This is why using a standing desk is a great New Year’s Resolution or option for taking on a fitness challenge or better life challenge.
23. Encourage and Inspire Others
One of the biggest things I noticed when I switched to using an Ergotron sit to stand converter desk – is that everyone was asking me what I thought about it, and that they were also thinking about getting a standing desk. I would encourage them and provide my feedback like I do here, and honestly this is the reason I am writing this post!
24. You will Walk More
Not only will you stand more (obviously), but you will naturally walk more from using a stand up desk. I am always on the move now. If you want to boost the impacts of using a standing desk, it is easier and recommended that you incorporate short walks throughout your day at work.
25. Enjoy Your Job More
This isn’t easily quantifiable, but I can speak from experience that I DID enjoy my job more once I started standing at work, and moving around more. I can think back to life sitting all day and I know I was less happy at work. You can see reviews on Amazon or Reddit that people who start standing are happy they did and never look back.
26. Better Focused
I am much more focused now that I am standing throughout the day. During slow moments or quiet times, I am consistently brainstorming ways to improve, what to tackle next, how to get to the next level. I attribute this to being positioned at the “Ready” all day, and feeling prepared for action when you are standing and moving throughout the office.
27. Body Produces More Positive Chemicals
All throughout this list you can see the studies that your body is releasing all types of positive chemicals and reducing the amount of negative ones. From increases in HDL-the good cholesterol to increased blood flow and endorphins, the potential medical changes happening behind the scenes while you stand are fascinating and well worth it.
28. Reduces Risk of Hemorrhoids
Most people reading this are not too worried about this risk, but for some of you this could be more common. Sitting for long periods of time puts people at risk of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are essentially swollen veins from too much pressure from sitting which can cause pain or discomfort along with a number of other symptoms. Standing at your desk and reducing the amount of time you are sitting can certainly lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
29. You Sound Smarter
I think it was Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins talking about this on the Tim
Ferris podcast. The argument goes like this: when you get a phone call, at work or in an important setting, if you stand up you speak more confidently and clearly. Your upright posture expands the diaphragm and you’re not hunched over in your chair. I know that I speak and act more confidently when I move from sitting to standing at my desk.
30. More Energy
Increased blood flow, better mood, and moving around more all lead to feeling and having more energy. I found myself regularly taking the stairs instead of the elevator because I had more energy to release. Sitting all day and being sedentary deplete your body of this potential daily burst of energy.
31. Less Risk for Obesity
According to the Center for Disease Control, the prevalence of obesity among adults is 39.8% and affects about 93.3 million of US adults. Obesity has become a nationwide epidemic. Obesity-related conditions include: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These are all some of the leading causes of premature death.
Using a standing desk leads to more walking, more calories burned, and reduced risk of all of the above no matter how much you analyze or think about switching to a standing desk.
32. More Assertive
Being assertive means having a “positive, self-assured, decisive” personality. Hand in hand with exuding more confidence from standing, using a standup desk will definitely make you more assertive in the workplace.
33. Lower Cholesterol
Even more research, this time from the European Society of Cardiology shows that standing for up to two hours a day was associated with a higher average level of the “good” type of cholesterol, HDL, and a 6% lower average total/HDL cholesterol ratio, which indicates an improvement in relation to “bad” LDL cholesterol.
34. Lower Blood Pressure
Sitting for long periods of time and living a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to high blood pressure, which is directly associated with #33 and better cholesterol. Choosing to stand at your desk and reduce your sitting time could result in lower blood pressure as well.
35. Improved Blood Glucose Control
Same study from the cardiology society researchers in Australia showed that replacing sitting time at a desk by two hours led to average blood sugar levels falling by approximately 11% and average triglycerides by 14%. Similar studies showed that employees who sit had a significant spike in blood sugar levels following lunch compared to their standing counterparts.
36. Reduced Risk from Cancer
Studies from the American Cancer Society have linked sitting and sedentary lifestyles to higher risk of death from all causes of death, to include 8 of the 10 most common, including cancer. Direct correlation is not clear. However, possible explanations are reduced physical activity, more snacking/eating while seated, and the negative impacts on hormone and immune system levels from prolonged sedentary lifestyle.
37. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
In the same study, risk of death was increased for many common causes of death, including cardiovascular disease. This is very understandable and reasonable considering the benefits to cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure on this list.
38. Help You Quit Smoking
We already know it is better than smoking, but standing at work is also a technique that smokers can use to reduce their risk of negative health decisions, including to quit smoking. Switching to standing gives smokers something else to focus on, and helps them to stay active and mobile and distracted from the urge to leave for a cigarette.
39. More Endorphins
Partly to explain for improving your mood, another benefit to standing at your desk is it will lead to more endorphins in your body. You will get even more endorphins if you get out and walk around every so often, further increasing the release of positive hormones in your body and improving your mood while at it.
40. Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is defined by the International Osteoporosis Foundation as a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As your bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The more sedentary a person is, the more at risk they are of this bone degeneration. One of the first reasons recommended to avoid osteoporosis is increasing your physical activity, even if only slightly. This physical activity – walking, standing etc. – leads to stronger and denser bones.
41. Reduced Risk of Dementia
Yep, it’s not your loud co-worker or controlling boss who is going to drive you crazy – it is sitting at your desk for 40 hours a week! Even another study shows evidence that sedentary behavior -long term- will increase risk of age-related cognitive disorders to include dementia and Alzheimer’s.
42. Legs will Look More Toned
Your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes will all get stronger and look more toned from increasing the amount of time you are standing rather than sitting at a desk. Throw in a Bosu Ball or additional walking and stretching, and your toned legs will be ready just in time for summer or that big trip!
43. Reduces Stress
More confidence, enjoying work more, and better relationships are all good signs for reducing stress. I personally felt, and still feel, less stressed at work since I started using a sit to stand converter desk.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 25% of workers reported the workplace as their #1 source of stress, and 40% of workers reported their job extremely stressful! Stand up and reduce your workplace stress!
44. Improves Your Immune System
A study on walking more showed that walking 30 minutes per day increases antibodies and white blood cells, and also more circulation (#5) for your immune system to do what it needs to keep you healthier and standing at your desk will certainly lead to more walking every day (#24)!
45. Reduced Risk of Stroke
Burning more calories, losing weight, increasing daily activity and a healthier heart and brain – all reduce your risk of stroke, another excellent benefit!
46. Improved Posture
Most of us are not only sitting in the wrong chair all day, we are also sitting with the wrong posture. Correct posture while sitting is essential to a healthy back and work lifestyle. Turns out, it is not very easy to maintain correct posture all day. Most people slouch, lean, or rest throughout the day thus leading to poor posture.
When you stand at your desk, you eliminate the risk of bad posture and using an improper chair all together. It is still important that you stand with good posture as well – but the risk is not nearly as bad as slouching in your chair.
One of the first people using a standing desk that I knew was an old boss of mine. His standing desk was a DIY because his doctor recommended it to improve his back pain – and it worked!
47. Increased Metabolism
Burning more calories daily, and a stronger core, legs and glutes will collectively improve your metabolism day after day. Paired with a healthier lifestyle and better habits make this an excellent benefit.
48. Less Headaches
Many people report the workplace as the most common place they get headaches. Stress from work or staring at a screen all day are possible explanations. Using a standing desk not only eliminates or decreases these risks it also improves blood circulation and brain health/activity which could lead to less headaches at work and after work.
49. Reduced Risk of Neck Injuries
Sitting at your desk for long periods of time, with bad posture, can lead to leaning into your monitor and straining your neck in the wrong position. Along with #46, standing will stretch out your neck into the correct position. Setting your standing desk at the right height and altering your positions while standing helps you avoid leaning your neck forward for long periods and potentially injuring yourself!
50. Live Longer!!
If you made it this far, I don’t think I need to explain it but just in case you missed it, numbers 1-49 are all reasons that will lead to the greatest benefit to standing desks which is living a longer healthier life by making the decision to stand at a standing desk!
There are many health benefits to using a standing desk and these 50 are only a few. You can find many lists and studies all across the web documenting the medical and physical benefits of a standing desk. If you are on the fence, I highly recommend making the switch as soon as possible! If you have already started, please comment below on what you think is the best health benefits to using a standing desk for you. Keep standing!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not considered to be medical advice. These are our own opinions and research about the health benefits of standing desks from experience and articles referenced below. If you need medical assistance or specific medical advice, please contact your medical provider.