You know the standing desk topic is among our favorites at the RunKeeper HQ, so we wanted to let some of the experts in the space sound off today. Kamron from UpDesk dishes on the health science behind staying on your feet at work. And UpDesk also wants to make it easier for RunKeeper users to get in on the action: so from now until August 31st, your miles can help score you discounts! Walk or run at least 40 miles for a 5% discount to UpDesk or 60 miles for 10%, and email Kamron at UpDesk with your activity log in your profile to get your discount code!
By Kamron Kunce
You might have already heard the buzz about standing desks or even that several executives and entrepreneurs alike are now using them. You may have heard about its unique abilities, its customization and found it all a bit hard to believe or that it doesn’t necessarily apply to you. Which leads us to the burning question, why should runners use standing desks?
Believe it or not, standing desks aren’t a new trend. They’ve been around for centuries. Influential people like Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Jefferson were all recorded using a standing desk at some point in their career. While these men didn’t have the research and countless articles we have today, they understood standing was much more instinctive.
Research and multiple articles show prolonged sitting and sedentary behavior have become a serious issue. For example, one in three Americans are obese. Between 1980 and 2000, exercise rates stayed the same, sitting time increased by 8%, and obesity doubled. Don’t forget about our overwhelming reliance on computers and the 40+ hours a week work schedule… now you have an epidemic. In fact, excessive sitting has been coined “the new smoking.”
The beauty of a standing desk is its mass appeal regardless of your vocation or place in life. They can be utilized in elementary schools, universities, law firms, corporate businesses, start-ups, design firms, home offices, etc.
Interestingly, one group doesn’t seem to be using standing desks as much as you might think: runners. Perhaps stand up desks seem less necessary to runners because they figure they’re doing enough. It may surprise you to know, however, the health benefits to standing are broader than you may realize…even if you run regularly. Here are five reasons why:
1. EXERCISE ISN’T ENOUGH
Participating in a daily exercise regimen is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle; however, it’s not the catchall solution. In fact, your well-planned workout basically diminishes if you sit down for an extended amount of time.
The human body was not optimized for sedentary behaviors; and more than ever, those behaviors are becoming more prevalent. Take a second and think about your typical day… How many hours are spent sitting down?
If you are sitting down for up to six hours per day, you just increased the risk of death up to 40%, according to a recent study. Like the name describes, a standing desk allows the user to work standing up on two feet. Standing is a more natural position for the body and it helps to defeat prolonged sitting. Coupling exercise with a standing desk makes for a healthier lifestyle.
2. MAINTAIN A STRONG FOUNDATION
Most of today’s workforce is tied to a chair in some way. Sitting in an office chair all day means that none of the most important muscle groups in your body are getting the activity they need. In order to properly support you, your muscles need to stay active daily.
A standing desk has the ability to engage important leg and core muscles throughout the day, which is particularly attractive to runners who need these muscles to amp up electrical activity and to keep their performance excelling.
3. ENHANCE YOUR CIRCULATION
“The blood circulation system is the prime method of getting needed nutrients to the cells of the body. If blood flow in an area is poor then the cells will find it very difficult to get all of the food nutrients and energy they need to absorb to enable the body to operate in a healthy manner.” (PoorCirculation.org)
Your body’s circulation can be compromised if you’re sitting for the majority of the day. Standing desks enable blood to flow freely throughout the veins, which is essential for nutrients to distribute accordingly.
4. GET AN ENERGY BOOST
Calorie burning drops to only 1 per minute and good cholesterol drops by 20% when sitting down. Additionally, your breaking-down-fat enzymes drop a staggering 90%.
Standing desks are the original energy booster. They help in focusing your attention on the task at hand and you’ll find yourself having more energy, even at the end of the day. Don’t settle for caffeinated drinks and/or clever marketing campaigns… Unlike those things, standing desks have been proven to be a healthier alternative.
5. ALWAYS BE MOVING
Runners should use a standing desk for the very same reasons they enjoy running so much. Your body is in motion when you’re running and the same happens when you’re working at a standing desk.
You’ll catch yourself walking over to a coworker instead of sending an email, talking on the phone while standing up, or even taking steps on a treadmill underneath your desk.
It’s important to understand overall movement is key. In other words, anything in excess can be harmful to the body. Ultimately, finding the perfect balance of sitting and standing should be your end goal.
A height-adjustable standing desk, like UpDesk, offers a solution in finding a more balanced and healthy way of living.
(PHOTO CREDIT/FLICKR: ZAGGORA)
Kamron Kunce is the Director of Social Media for UpDesk. Kamron started his career in the Nashville music industry working with a number of popular artists and joined UpDesk in 2012 just before the brand’s launch.