Why Use a Standing Desk?

Sitting Disease

Sitting Disease
Are you sitting for too long?

Why use a standing desk? This question can best be answered by first asking: do you sit for extended periods of time at your desk without taking a break? Would you like to have more physical activity in your day?

When we add up the total time we spend seated in a day, a dawning realization may creep upon us. Yikes! I am sitting for more than 9 hours a day! I must do something about this. But even exercising moderately won’t be enough to combat this health time bomb.

Almost everyone is in the same sedentary boat and it is sinking lower every day. The University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, stated “Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease”. So even exercising may not be enough of a life raft to avoid the effects of sitting disease. Why use a standing desk? Allow me to pontificate.

Why Use a Standing Desk?

Sitting Disease

Less chance of a heart attack or heart disease.

Boosted metabolism results in more energy.

Mental alertness and mood elevation.

Reduced risk of dementia. Reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Less chance of getting cancer, especially colon and breast cancer.

Weight loss as more calories is burnt.

Improved posture, stamina, and core strength.

Improved posture, stamina, and core strength.

Lowering the long-term mortality risk.

As overall energy improves so will your sex life.

Research Into Sitting Disease

The research into sitting disease was first spearheaded by James Levine MD, Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic. As he did his research the health benefits of a standing desk became apparent. The research discovered  that 50-70 percent of people spend six hours or more sitting a day.

Man watching tv

This study went on to reveal that Americans’ sedentary lifestyle shortens their life expectancy. If Americans would cut their sitting time in half, their life expectancy would increase by roughly:

2 years (by reducing sitting to less than 3 hours a day)

1.4 years (by reducing TV time to less than 2 hours a day)

Why use a standing desk? Mainly to avoid the catalog of various illnesses associated with sitting disease, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, especially colon and breast cancer. As overall energy improves so will your sex life.

This statistic alone would strongly suggest that it is time to stand up. Which reminds me, I have just been sitting for over an hour writing. It just goes to show how quickly time passes when involved in a project. We can forget to change our posture.

Boost Metabolism By Standing

Woman standing in office

There is no doubt that one of the best reasons why anyone should use a standing desk is a boost in metabolism. If we were to add the time spent driving, sitting at work, enjoying a meal, watching TV, or spending more time at night on the computer, it would astound us. While seated, the metabolism slows down and our energy decreases.

According to medicalxpress, the incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and MCI progression to dementia is increased in association with metabolic syndrome (MetS). So not only am I getting less fit every day I spend seated, but I am losing marbles in the process? That is even worse.

Better Posture

All right, let’s get those ribs over toes. Improved posture and increased core strength are two more great reasons to use a standing desk. While standing, more muscles are involved and the back and stomach are key areas that strengthen.

Usually, in a seated posture, the stomach is much more relaxed and the back is supported by a chair, so standing improves muscle mass and strengthens your abs. It will not take long to notice a positive change in your posture.

Mental Alertness And Mood Elevation

Because we’re not moving enough our mental functions slow. An alert brain relies on blood flow for optimum function. This, in turn, can affect our cognitive abilities, mood and alertness. Desk treadmills are even better at lifting our mood and sharpening our minds due to increasing cardio.

The Harvard Health Blog indicates that studies show a reduced risk of dementia for those using standing desks and desk treadmills. So, if you find yourself trying to remember where you left your cup of coffee there is hope.

Less Chance of Heart Disease

Researchers have also found that excessive sitting is associated with an 18 percent increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease and a 17 percent increased risk of dying from cancer. When we are more sedentary it is harder to clear fats from our blood, process insulin, or keep muscles active and spines flexible. One of the first symptoms is a pain in an organ or body part which can progress to damage. Strangely enough, fear of an early death does not seem to motivate people to change their lifestyles.

Weight Loss -The Biggest Motivator

If you still need the motivation to make a change then weight loss could be a biggie, no pun intended. Sitting for an hour will burn only 100 calories but an hour of standing will burn 300 calories. Chew on this, even standing for an hour a day, for a month 9000 calories will be burned. That is 23 pieces of cherry pie. Just think, you could be eating another 23 pieces of cherry pie without gaining any extra weight. That sounds like a sweet deal.

Remedies For Too Much Sitting


There are many remedies for sitting disease. Set a timer at regular intervals, perhaps every half hour, and get up and stretch or take a short walk up and down the stairs and slide down the banisters. Stand up to take calls or walk around while on the phone.

Any activity that will change the seated posture will work. Try some under desk exercise equipment or some desk yoga stretches. If you are new to the standing desk scene, perhaps try a low-cost solution like the Fitdesk Tabletop Standing Desk. iconNow you can easily convert any desk into a comfortable standing desk. The FitDesk stands firmly on any desktop surface and adjusts from 12″ to 16″ to accommodate any height.

Another remedy is the Adjustable Standing Desk. The crank allows for effortless adjustment from sitting to standing. Perfect for desktop, laptop, or tablet computing. Mobile and adjustable to meet your everyday needs. If you would like to flirt with the idea of a standing desk and remain seated while standing, I suggest sit-stand stools

Luxor 59"W Crank Adjustable Stand Up Desk, Dark Walnut
The Adjustable Standing Desk

Concluding Remarks

I hope this blog on “why to use a standing desk?” has been of interest to you. The techno era has no doubt given us many benefits but it has drawbacks as well. Perhaps sitting disease is the disease of the century as it is a precursor to a host of many preventable maladies.

With the advent of the standing desk and the sit-stand desk, it is now easier to ameliorate the effects of sitting disease. Standing desks work best when we alternate sitting with standing. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any queries or comments regarding this blog.


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