Stand and Deliver: The Benefits of Standing at Your Desk

It’s been called your body’s biggest enemy by Women’s Health magazine, a lethal activity by The New York Times, and according to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it’s an insidious health sin that even the healthiest people have trouble correcting. And chances are you’re doing it right now. Sitting Disease, as it’s been dubbed, develops from our sedentary jobs and lifestyles. The 50 or more hours spent sitting each week are now a hot topic for medical experts interested in inactivity physiology, and now some experts say there are links between sitting and obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

What’s so bad about sitting? In a nutshell, when you’re seated your muscles’ electrical activity drops, which incites a cascade of hazardous metabolic effects. The body’s calorie-burning mechanisms slow and insulin efficiency drops, increasing the risk of diabetes. Obesity becomes a concern because enzymes that break down lipids and triglycerides also drop, bringing levels of good (HDL) cholesterol down with them. What’s more, even regular exercise doesn’t seem to outweigh the ills of sitting through the workday.

Luckily, experts are taking a stand, literally, to combat this Sitting Disease. In “Is Sitting a Lethal Activity,” the Times mentions a chair-free first grade classroom, and a revolutionary counterpart for adults: the treadmill desk. If the treadmill idea makes you cringe, maybe simply standing at your desk is something to consider.

Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani, had been interested in alternative desk setups for some time before adjusting her own desk to standing height. She says she’ll never sit through a work day again, and that the calorie-burning and better posture benefits of her standing desk are worth her achy feet. Standing desks are a great alternative to treadmill desks because they’re easier to set up and take up less space. In “Why and How I Switched to a Standing Desk,” Trapani answers all the questions you’re asking right now. She includes photos of other people’s standing desks so you can find inspiration for constructing your own healthy work space.

For ideas on how to stand and deliver wherever you and your laptop go, check out “Standing at Work,” at Mark’s Daily Apple. You’ll find solutions that will help you communicate your desire to stand at work to the higher ups in the office, how to stand up and work from home, and other ideal locations for standing on the job while you complete tasks remotely.

Sources: Women’s Health, The New York Times,,

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

One thought on “Stand and Deliver: The Benefits of Standing at Your Desk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy