An Adjustable Standing Desk Prevents a Range of Adverse Effects
Everyone has read or heard about articles claiming, “sitting increases your chances of early death.” While seemingly sensationalist, they are basically true, but that’s too intangible to be useful. When you’re thinking about the actual, concrete health benefits of an adjustable standing desk, it’s more helpful to know exactly how your body reacts to sitting and what that adjustable standing desk stops and prevents. Plus, there is a lot of surprising adverse health effects caused by sitting.
The basic effects of sitting stem from the fact that very little of your body below your mid torso is actually doing anything. It’s all resting. Immediately after you sit down, electrical activity in your core and leg muscles slows down as the muscles relax. Your body’s calorie consumption begins to slow and if you remain sedentary without moving for about an hour, it reaches a floor of about one calorie per minute. Your heart rate also drops, and some data suggests that all these decreases in activity actually precipitate or at least are correlated with a minor decrease in electrical activity in the brain. And over time, these decreases in activity become more permanent, which is part of what increases your likelihood of chronic illness.
When you don’t use your muscles, your body allows them to atrophy to save energy. Why would you want big, energy-consuming muscles just sitting there, doing nothing except eating up your resources? This includes the major components in movement – hamstrings, quadriceps, the gluteus muscles – they all experience atrophy. And when you spend more than four hours a day sitting, at least five days a week, that’s a lot of signals to your body to get worse at standing and walking.
Furthermore, those muscles and the tendons around them also shorten, tighten, and harden. When you are sitting, your hamstrings and hips are in a shortened position. They adapt to that, which affects your ability to exercise and even hold your body erect while standing. This contributes to future pain, discourages physical activity, and makes injuring yourself while doing something simple like moving boxes more likely.
But there’s more. Moving and stimulating muscle contraction also encourages blood flow back to the heart, helping your body remove toxins from your extremities consistently and preventing the buildup of fluid. If you do it for long periods of time without moving, you body has to process all that stuff in short, intense bursts, and it doesn’t all get removed.
Fortunately, if you decrease the time you spend sitting to fewer than four hours a day, and even more powerful if you move from seven or eight hours to below four hours, you can stop these effects and begin to reverse them. An adjustable sit to stand standing desk that lets you stand while you work is a great way to do this. Not only will you feel perceivably better in terms of your physical body, you’ll have more energy and focus because of that increased electrical activity, and you won’t be as likely to die early.
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