Prolonged sitting - something a lot of us do all day, every day -is directly linked with a number of serious health problems. Research suggests that obesity, increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletaldisorders can all be a result of sitting for an extended period of time.
Our risk of ill health due to inactivity is increased if we work in office environments, especially where sitting down at a desk for 7 hours a day is normal.
So what's the solution? Many of us think that working in an office means sitting is almost unavoidable. That is not the case - Sit-stand desks are becoming more and more popular, both at work and in the home office. They allow the user to adjust the height of their workstation, making it convenient for both sitting andstanding, meaning employees can alternate between the two.
There are many benefits of standing while working, here are our top 6:
1. Increased energy
Sitting at a desk all day can make you feel lethargic, and like many of us, you’ll often get the 3 o'clock slump. This drop in energy is due to reducedblood circulation and the reduced production of insulin (a hormone which helps turn food into energy). Using a standing desk will help increase blood flow, so more oxygen is travelling around your body - ultimately making you feel more awake and productive.
2. Fight obesity
John Buckley from University of Chester found that on average those that stand whilst at work burn about 50 more calories an hour, but that doesn't take into account any other activity you do while you are standing. This may not sound like a lot at first, but if you stand for three hours a day for five days, that’s around 750 calories. These extra calories burned a day can help combatobesity, which can lead to many other health problems, including diabetes.
3. Reduce back pain
A lot of working days are lost due to employees taking sick days for musculoskeletal issues – with back pain being a main problem. This is because people who spend prolonged time sitting, often slouch, which overtime puts pressure on your backs discs and muscles. Standing will reduce this risk significantly.
4. Increase in productivity
TheTexas A&M Health Science Centre School of Public Health found that employees who worked in a call centre were 46% more productivewhen they were given a standing desk. Standing creates a sense of urgency which can discourage procrastination and prevent distraction. Buying all new furniture for your whole office can be expensive, but there are many ways to convert your current desks into sit-stand desks, for example, using a desktop workstation.
5. Employee retention
Offices that offer standing desk can often be a more desirable place to work, particularly to younger generations. With higher desirability you will receive a greater range of job applicants, with more options to choose from.High employee turnover also can be costly for businesses -if employees leave then personal workloadfor individuals may increase meaning increased stress levels.Additionally, moretime will have to be spent looking for new employees. Successful companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook all offer their employees the option of having a standing desk!
6. A happier, more engaged workplace
Standing desks make it easier for employees to move around the office. They are more likely to engage with co-workers, encouragingcollaborations and boostingcreative ideas, which are great bonuses to your company. Communication and interactionbetween colleaguescan create a strong sense of team morale and lead to a happier workforce.
Most of us work for an average of 8 hours a day, and the thought of standing for all those hours can be daunting - that’s why a sit-stand desk is perfect as it allows you to choose. It can take a bit of time to get your stance right, but over time you’ll find the perfect position and gradually increase the time you can stand.