Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences The Benefits of a Standing Desk Physical and Mental Improvements Share Flipboard Email Print (Jetta Productions/Getty Images) Social Sciences Ergonomics Psychology Sociology Archaeology Economics Maritime By Chris Adams Engineering Expert B.I.D, Industrial and Product Design, Auburn University Chris Adams is a human factors engineer who writes about ergonomics and has 11 years of experience in the field. our editorial process Chris Adams Updated October 01, 2018 Standing desks offer many benefits for your health and ergonomics. Break free from the chains of sitting at a desk and stand up for yourself and your health. Health Benefits of a Standing Desk The first major benefit of using a standing desk is avoiding all of the negatives that make sitting at a desk bad for you! Sitting for long periods of time causes metabolic issues–you don't produce chemicals necessary for processing sugars and fats, and your circulation suffers. Your skeleton and muscles form a reactive frame for your body which wants to move and respond to outside forces. Additionally, your muscles need to regularly flex to support healthy functions and chemical production. Standing allows your body to adjust and move easily, flexing your muscles continuously. It also keeps your blood circulating well. Movement regulates your blood sugar and keeps your blood pressure lower. And this lets you live longer! Risks of Sitting Sitting increases your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and blood clots or thrombosis. Studies have shown some dramatic effects of sitting for long periods of time. Those who sit a lot are 54 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Men who sit more than six hours a day have a 20 percent higher mortality rate; women have a 40 percent higher mortality rate. If you sit for more than 23 hours a week, you are 64 percent more likely to die from heart disease. In addition, studies have also shown that regular exercise does not counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. The only way to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of prolonged sitting is to not do it. Working at a standing desk will accomplish that for most people. Another benefit of a standing desk is that you burn more calories throughout the day. That will help with weight loss or maintain a healthy weight. Standing while working will burn one-third more calories than sitting will, which could account for an additional 500 calories burned in a day. Standing Can Reduce Pain There is anecdotal and scientific evidence to show that standing while working will alleviate back pain and other repetitive stress injuries. The problem usually comes from not using your back enough. When you sit, you don't hold your upper body with your muscles; rather, you let the chair hold you. This leads significant compression within the chest and abdominal cavities, slouching of the shoulders and rolling of the spine. These are classic causes of repetitive stress injuries and back pain. Working at a standing desk will keep your core and back muscles engaged throughout the day and improve your posture. Mental Benefits of Standing Another benefit of a standing desk is an increase in your focus, alertness, and activity level. When standing, it is easier to release restless energy. Combine that with the good circulation, stable blood sugar, and an active metabolism, and it is easier to focus on the task at hand. Standing while working will burn one-third more calories. Many authors and statesmen throughout the centuries who swear by working at a standing desk have claimed that it helps get the creative juices flowing. It also fights fatigue and improves lethargy. While this may sound like a contradiction, it is not. Standing while working helps fight off the naturally occurring slumps and bouts of fatigue that often happen mid-morning or early afternoon. Those are often related to metabolic drops after meals are processed by the body. Keeping your blood sugar level helps avoid those. Staying active and releasing restless energy also promotes a satisfying tiredness when it is time to sleep. Your mind isn't racing and your body is ready to rest.