Research has proven that sitting for too long can have adverse effects on your mental and physical health. The average American spends well over 9 hours per day sitting, and many people sit longer. With that in mind, some clever engineers developed ingenious ways to combat the nationwide sitting epidemic, namely with two inventions that enable you to stay on your feet while getting work done: the standing and treadmill desk. The treadmill desk is equal parts desk and exercise machine while the standing desk is a raised desk that allows you to type as you stand. But which option is superior? Each has its merits, so let’s a take a look at how they stack up in terms of key benefits.
When maximizing productivity, the treadmill desk is your best bet. Have you ever been at your desk to feel yourself nodding off? Sometimes even that second cup of coffee just won’t help. Treadmill desks keep your blood pumping, giving you that critical boost of energy you need when the going gets tough. You may assume that a treadmill desk would wear you out and make you more tired, that’s not the case. You will not be running on your desk. Most people walk or jog at a very mild pace, which is enough to provide stimulation without physically exerting the body in a way that makes you tired.
Accuracy and Focus
Getting more work done means nothing if the quality isn’t there. Fortunately, treadmill desks have been shown to improve your focus, allowing you to perform better for longer. One study showed that doctors who reviewed and diagnosed scans were 10% more accurate than doctors who performed the same actions sitting down. When your body is active, your mind is more alert, and that means you will perform at maximum potential.
Back Pain Relief
Even if you don’t experience back pain now, it’s highly probable you will, if spending the majority of your life in a sitting position. This is an especially daunting prospect for those who have less than ideal back posture. When it comes to preserving a strong, healthy back, a standing desk may be just what the doctor ordered, as it allows for proper spinal alignment. Just remember to maintain optimal posture, or you may end up worse off than if you were sitting all day.
Enhance Your Mood
One of the most frequently recommended ways to battle depression is to get out and exercise. Time and time again, studies have proven that staying active sends “happy signals” to your brain. Staying positive can be challenging in a hectic work environment, and getting your blood pumping is a great way to beat those Monday blues. If you’re looking for the maximum mood enhancement, go with a treadmill desk.
Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly are key to lasting health. Walking just ten blocks per day has been shown to reduce the risk of developing a cardiac disease by 33%. Burning calories help to prevent a myriad of health conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, stroke, and even some cancers. When your body is healthy, your mind follows suit. Obviously, treadmill desks offer the upper-hand in this area, but studies have shown standing for long periods of time can have measurable cardiovascular benefits as well. When it comes to your long-term health, either desk is a huge upgrade over hours of sitting.
You Have Options
These days, a variety of desk options are offered to fit your specific requirements. For example, you may wish to buy a convertible desk – you can either sit or exercise. Another option if you aren’t ready to go all out with a treadmill desk is a stationary bike desk. Companies like Work Live Walk make desks that simulate riding a bicycle while working, giving that traditional sitting feeling while still allowing you to exercise. Regardless of how you choose to proceed, make it a daily habit to exercise a little more throughout a workday. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did!
Author Bio: Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of a range of clients including the Livestrong Network and Demand Media. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he enjoys surfing in Santa Monica and collecting classic, first-edition novels.