While digital technology has introduced many benefits into today’s personal and professional lives, at least one aspect has been detrimental. The sedentary lifestyle promoted by working every day in front of a computer can have a long term negative impact on your health.
This has led public and private organizations to encourage their employees to stand for some portion of their work day using a sit-stand desk.
According to an article published by the Washington Post, the health hazards of sitting for an extended period of time results in a chain of health problems that affects you from head to toe. Organ damage, muscle degeneration, leg disorders, bad back, slow brain function and even high mortality rates are some of the damaging effects of sitting for too long, whether you are at work or at home watching TV.
If that isn’t bad enough, even if you exercise almost every day, the health benefits you gain can be lost by sitting too much, according to research by the American Cancer Society. Additionally, it increases your chances of dying from diabetes, heart disease and obesity by 18 percent, as reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology.
But now that you know too much sitting is bad for you, what can you do about it?
Smart Standing Desk
The most obvious answer is to sit less, but since you probably work at a computer all day, it may not be possible.
Happily, there are alternatives catching on. A stand-up desk can help you get healthier by dividing your working day between sitting and standing and thus changing the position of your body as necessary.
The demand for such options has led to products ranging greatly in quality, functionality and price. You can find a generic standing desk that adjusts manually for less than $200, and go all the way to $2,500 for top of the line motorized desks that adjust at the push of a button.
The Smart Standing Desk by Autonomous has managed to keep its price affordable, while integrating the motorized functionality with quality build for $299.
Customers are being encouraged to order with confidence. The desk comes with a 30-day trial that clearly says, “If you don’t love it, we’ll pick it up and give you a full refund. U.S. only.” It also includes a 5-year warranty offering a free replacement if you have a problem.
The company has several models with many different features. The $299 Smart Standing Desk has silent dual motors controlled with a smart keypad that remembers your sitting and standing heights. It is made with a heavyweight industrial steel frame and grade-A wood and bamboo tops.
If you want to upgrade, the Smart Standing Desk with AI Personal Assistant comes in at $499, up to five times less than top of the line desks without the AI feature. The company calls the AI option the world’s smartest office desk because of all the technology it houses. Features include a voice activated personal assistant, a wireless charging pad, USB charger, Bluetooth speaker and a memory pad.
The hands-free, voice-controlled personal assistant gives you weather reports, answers questions, reminds you of upcoming meetings and more. It also controls lights, switches, Nest, Philips Hue, WeMo, SmartThings and other connected devices.
How Much Should you Stand Once you get Your Smart Standing Desk?
The science on this is still up in the air, but there is a clear consensus that you should spend a portion of your day standing. However, it is important to point out, you can stand too much, which brings health problems of its own.
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, keeping the body upright requires more work, which is beneficial, but extended periods can result in leg, back and neck muscle pains.
As with all things in life, the key is finding the right balance. The beauty with the new generation of adjustable desks is, you can sit or stand whenever you want. You can design your own routine including how long you stand before you sit down. Gradually build your comfort level and try to work it up to 50/50 or more, with intervals of one or more hours of standing.
And if you haven’t gotten a standing desk yet, make sure you’re taking regular breaks to stand, walk around and stretch. Consider using stairs instead of elevators/escalators at work as well to get a little extra physical activity into your day.
Physical activity, no matter how you get it throughout the day is key as you pointed out. And a standing desk is another tool you can use as part of your overall regimen to increase your level of activity.