It has been known for years that sitting in a static position for 8 or more hours a day is bad for us and the increasing awareness of the health risks associated with prolonged sitting is boosting the demand for sit/stand desks.
For most of us, when we’re awake and not moving, we’re sitting- either at work or at home. When sitting the electrical activity in the muscles drop, which leads to harmful metabolic effects. For example, the rate in which calories are burnt immediately drop to about one per minute, a third of what it would be if you were up and walking. As well as this, insulin effectiveness drops within a day, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises, which then heightens the risk of obesity. The workplace is the biggest contributor of sedentary lifestyles with most people sitting for up to 10 hours a day, finding a way to tackle these problems associated with prolonged sitting is an issue that needs to be accepted and solved. The solution is to change every day behaviour in the workplace and introducing sit/stand desks to employees is key.
A sit stand desk simply refers to a work station that can be adjusted in height by the user, so they can carry out every day work tasks both sitting and standing. It is recommended that working positions should be changed from sitting to standing every 20–30 minutes, helping to eliminate the chances of developing any of the long-term health risks associated with prolonged sitting.
Recent studies have found that investing in sit stand desks can increase wellbeing, happiness, and overall productivity of employees; furthermore less ‘sick days’ at the expense of the employer. As well as this, some extra benefits associated with sit stand desks are as follows;
- Existing back problems can be relieved by standing at a various heights throughout the day.
- People of varying heights can easily adjust their desk according to specific needs. This is particularly beneficial for taller people as it prevents stooping.
- Comfort to everybody as heights can be altered to suit anyone at any height.
- Standing keeps blood circulating around the body, which keeps your blood sugar regulated and keeps your blood pressure lower.
For anyone who has not used a sit/stand desk before the idea of standing and working can be quite alien, but employees soon learn which tasks they can carry out in which positions. Telephone calls can be taken whilst standing and more tasking and concentrating work can be done whilst sitting.
There is a real benefit to a happier and healthier workplace and it is evident that there are many benefits of investing in sit stand desking and the wellbeing that is associated with them.