Today, when we are spending nearly entire days churning our mental wheels in the office, we are also struggling to incorporate some kind of exercise to remain fit or lose a few inches.
We all know there are significant health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, one that most of us are exposed to. And when we are confined within the four walls of our office and have no access to proper movement and activity, it makes things worse for our bodies. In light of this, standing desks have gained widespread popularity in home offices and workplaces alike. There are a large number of proven health benefits associated with using standing desks. But does a standing desk help with weight loss, too?
Now, unfortunately, a standing desk will not magically make you shed all the calories that you have been trying to lose over the years. But what it can do is aid in preventing weight gain that comes with inactivity.
Interested in discovering how a standing desk can serve your health and boost your weight loss? Here’s everything you need to know about standing desks and weight loss before you decide whether a standing desk should be the next addition to your workspace.
Table of Contents
- Can A Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?
- Does A Standing Desk Help With Belly Fat?
- Does A Standing Desk Count As An Exercise?
- How Does A Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?
- Other Benefits Of A Standing Desk
Can A Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, a standing desk can help you lose weight. But not in the way you might be hoping. Standing alone does little to help you lose weight. However, a standing desk offers some other advantages that will aid in your overall weight loss journey? Let’s explore how.
When you are sitting on an office chair for too long while working, it deters you from moving around. And this lack of movement or activity puts you at a higher risk of developing major health concerns. Prolonged sitting without any breaks also increases your risk of gaining weight.
It has been documented that a typical office worker spends around 15 hours a day sitting at a desk. Excessive sitting leads to fewer calories being burned, thus leading to us ending up gaining weight faster.
Apart from weight gain, a sedentary lifestyle is also known to be the leading cause of many cardiovascular diseases, heart ailments, diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as mental issues such as anxiety and depression.
This is less likely to happen when you work at a standing desk. When you use a standing desk, it prompts you to move around more. It also makes it easier for you to take short breaks to stretch your body, thus helping you burn more calories. And the more calories you burn, the faster you lose weight.
However, what you need to keep in mind is that you cannot be entirely dependent on a standing desk to reach your weight goals. That is a far-fetched dream. What a standing desk can do is reduce your inactivity and allow you to move around more.
If you want to see quick and effective results, it is important that you introduce a healthy change in your dietary habits and include other forms of regular exercise in your routine.
Does A Standing Desk Help With Belly Fat?
Sitting For Long Hours In An Office Chair Can Increase Belly Fat
There are plenty of reasons why you might be developing belly fat. Sitting on an office chair for long hours is one of them.
Generally, when you are stressed, which can often happen due to work, you tend to release cortisol, the stress hormone. This hormone makes you crave highly fatty, unhealthy food items that become accumulated in the form of fat in your abdomen.
Another reason why you might be developing belly fat is mindless snacking. Extended periods of work can lead you to develop hunger pangs, and you may be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods that are easier to get ahold of, leading to fat formation.
Belly fat has been linked to increased susceptibility to heart diseases. To avoid this, making significant lifestyle changes is crucial.
Reducing Belly Fat With A Standing Desk
One very important change is switching from a traditional desk to a standing desk. Sitting in an office chair is accompanied by an inactive lifestyle, which contributes to less burning of calories and the accumulation of fat around the abdomen.
Using a standing desk alone will not help you to get rid of your belly fat. However, it is a good complementary lifestyle change when you have a diet and exercise plan in place.
Excessive sitting can negatively affect your metabolism, thus reducing the rate at which your body burns calories. Compared to sitting, standing takes up more energy, increases your metabolic rate, and therefore promotes the body to burn more calories. When you burn calories, you are contributing towards reducing your belly fat.
Again, remember, only incorporating a standing desk without a healthy diet or regular exercise will not be of much help. It is the combination of different changes that will not only help reduce your belly fat but your overall weight.
Does A Standing Desk Count As An Exercise?
What is exercise? Any form of movement of the body, be it through walking, running, swimming, or any other form of activity can be counted as exercise.
Because a standing desk involves you standing and working with little or no movement of your body, it does not count as an exercise.
The purpose of a standing desk is to reduce how much time you spend sitting. When using a standing desk, you are still working at your desk, albeit while standing, and thus, it cannot be categorized as exercising. A standing desk does, however, give you more access to be active and move your body.
As per the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, if you use a standing desk for 3 hours, you will be able to burn an extra 24 calories. And if you manage to include a 30-minute walk during your lunch break or any interval you get between your work shifts, you can burn an additional 100 calories.
So, the only way you can make your time spent working at your standing desk count as exercise is by making sure you move your limbs and stretch your body as much as possible.
How Does A Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?
A standing desk, as we have already seen, cuts down your sedentary period and lets you alternate between standing and sitting.
So, how do you use this standing time to aid your health? There are a number of simple exercises you can do while working that will keep your body moving without distracting you from work.
#1. Standing Leg Extensions
Leg feeling numb? Try this exercise to stretch out your legs and engage your core. Stand straight, extend your right leg behind you while keeping your knees straight. Make sure you engage your glutes and core. Hold for 5 seconds. Do this with both legs 15-20 times.
#2. Hamstring Curls
While standing, bend one knee and raise the foot back to your backside. Hold for 5 seconds and switch to the other leg. Repeat 15-20 times.
#3. Standing Calf Raises
This is one of the easiest exercises to get more blood flowing through your legs. Stand straight and raise yourself on your toes, keeping your heels off the floor. Hold for 2-5 seconds, and come down slowly. Do this 15-20 times.
#4. Gluteal Squeeze
Don’t like bringing attention to yourself? No problem. This is a great exercise to strengthen your back. While standing straight, tighten your butt by contracting your butt muscles. Hold for 5 seconds and release.
#5. Shoulder Stretch
Who doesn’t have to deal with stiff neck and shoulders when working? Do this exercise to release accumulated muscle tension from your upper back area. Extend your right arm across your chest reaching out to the left. Bring your left arm under it to hold your right shoulder. Make sure your extended right arm is held close to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and switch.
Other Benefits Of A Standing Desk
Once you start using a standing desk, you may fail to see noticeable changes in your weight for a long time. However, there are many other ways in which a standing desk is benefiting your health without you even realizing it.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and uncontrolled blood pressure levels.
- If you have been struggling with an ailing back due to all the hours you spend sitting on a chair, you can overcome it by using a standing desk.
- You can improve your energy levels while working at a standing desk. When you feel mentally better, you tend to work better. Your productivity levels increase, and you get encouraged to power through your day.
- A sedentary lifestyle is a major reason behind anxiety and depression. A standing desk allows your mind to be more stimulated and can help significantly reduce the risk of developing such issues.
- Various studies have shown that reduced sitting hours can increase your life expectancy. So if you wish to live a happy and long life, a standing desk can be one of the best purchases you make.
In recent years, various studies have shown that avoiding sitting on office chairs for prolonged hours can prevent you from gaining weight. When you are stuck in a job that has you sitting in a chair for 40 to 50 hours every week, you are bound to feel sluggish and tired, and lose your motivation to work, let alone to move around and lose weight.
Doing something as simple as getting off your chair and working at a standing desk can do more wonders to your body than you can imagine. So, why not put the theory to practice and invest in a standing desk to avail of the many benefits it offers!