Embrace the Many Benefits of Standing Desks
In recent years, scientists and medical practitioners have compared sitting to smoking. If you haven’t yet seen the studies, you may be wondering what these two activities could possibly have in common. According to Mayo Clinic, people whose sedentary lifestyle kept them in a chair for more than eight hours per day shared the same high risk of death associated with obesity and smoking. Sedentary jobs also contribute to obesity, further compounding the issue. So, what do the doctors suggest? They recommend a standing or sit-stand desk.
How Sedentary Is Your Lifestyle?
According to a 2017 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), workers spend about 62 percent of their shift in a chair. However, a sedentary lifestyle doesn’t just stop there. On the way home, you sit in the car or on the bus or train. And, once at home, you may relax on your sofa and turn on the TV, or sit down to a quiet dinner with your family. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with sitting. The problem lies in the fact that it’s not punctuated by physical activity often enough.
What Are the Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle?
Naturally, the more you sit, the less calories your burn. This may lead to weight gain, and eventually obesity. In addition to this, regardless of activity level, prolonged sitting has been tied to cardiometabolic disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and premature death. Prolonged sitting has also been identified as a contributing factor in anxiety and depressive symptoms.
What Are the Benefits of Raising the Desk?
Several studies have proven that standing desks can have a profoundly positive effect on the health of employees. Few workers like the idea of standing for a full eight-hour shift, if not longer. For this reason, many employers have opted for sit-stand office desk installations to unlock workplace potential. Here are just a few reasons you should consider a sit-stand desk:
- One study monitoring 167 employees over a six-month period concluded that stand-capable desks helped employees excel over the employees who spent more time at traditional desks. The employees with stand-capable desks saw a 23 percent higher successful call rate within the first month, soaring to 53 percent higher after 6 months.
- Another study showed that when training seminars and smart cushions were introduced, people began to sit less and less each day, not only at work but at home. The UK study reported participants decreased seated time by 50 minutes per day after three months, 64 minutes after six months and 82 minutes by the end of a year.
- Other benefits reported from this UK study include higher work engagement, less daily anxiety and a reduction in job-related fatigue.
- According to NCBI, people who stand more at work experience greater enthusiasm, interest and alertness.
- After eating, blood sugar levels normalize more quickly on the days when more time is spent standing.
- Standing more often may help to reduce back and shoulder pain.
How Do You Transition?
This is a good question that is often overlooked. Many office employees and remote workers look forward to using an electronic sit-stand desk or an adjustable standing desk. However, there isn’t always enough emphasis placed on the transition process. Some people may try to stand for as long as possible from the very first day and then find themselves battling with burnout from swollen feet at night. Instead, try to ease into it, starting with 30 minutes per day and increasing time as you feel more comfortable.
What Else Can You Do?
While a sit-stand office desk has a lot to offer, remember that standing isn’t the only way to break the sedentary cycle. The point is to get on your feet more often. This is easiest in an open plan office as the floorplan gives you plenty of space to roam, stretch your legs, and burn a few extra calories.
Check out Arnold’s collection of sit-stand desks and standing group work desks. Wondering what a complete office transition to standing desks involves? Contact us for a free quote and complementary space planning.