Are you reading this while standing?
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys implementing new technology that supports healthy habits, you’ve likely purchased yourself a sit-stand desk. Much like the pharmacopeia of supplements available at your local nutrition store, sit-stand desks were advertised as having a host of health benefits (without the rigorous scientific analyses required to prove their promises). Some companies have claimed improved mental health, lower blood sugar, and even a higher life expectancy. But, one of the most sought-after effects was weight loss.
But, do they really help lose weight?
No, not really. According to a new meta-analysis of 53 publications focused on the health effects of sit-stand desks, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that their slimming effects are pretty much non-existent. Definitely not the desired news for those desk users who were trying to gear up for some summer fun. Luckily, it turns out that while they may not give you that toned physique you want so badly, sit-stand desks can have some positive effects on your health.
How do they really help?
The real utility of sit-stand desks isn’t related to weight loss or productivity, it’s related to discomfort and mentality. Almost across the board, participants experienced a decrease in discomfort, especially those who are plagued with chronic lower back pain. It’s not hard to see how this could be a formative part of adopting a healthier, active lifestyle. It’s no secret that discomfort hinders us from doing the things we want. After all, who wants to go exercise when you feel like you stepped out of a washing machine just from sitting in a chair all day?
So, what’s the verdict?
They help. Both extremes, sitting or standing all day, are related to a variety of health issues. Sit-stand desks provide that Goldilocks zone, a choice betwixt the two. While they may not be the magical cure-all they were touted as during their advent on the consumer market, they can make your life a little better. And after all, isn’t the old adage, “In Life, it’s all about the little things”?