Standing vs Sitting while we work
If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely sitting down. Take a moment to think – how long have you been sat down for this week? Reading, eating, working and writing are among the many activities that we do while sitting down – and it’s not looking good for our general health!
Research states that on average we spend nine hours a day sitting – more than we do sleeping! Most office jobs require us to sit at our desk for the best part of eight hours a day before having to sit while driving home to then spend the evening relaxing on the couch.
Increasing concern on sedentary lifestyles have allowed for finding solutions and options to stand and move while we work. Studies have claimed major health benefits for standing for much of the day as opposed to sitting. The difference is marked.
Guess how many hours a day you spend sitting? Fewer than eight? More than 10? A recent survey found that many of us spend up to 12 hours a day sitting on our bottoms looking at computers or watching television. If you throw in the seven hours we spend sleeping then that adds up to a remarkable 19 hours a day being sedentary.
Even if you exercise on a regular basis that may not be enough. There is mounting evidence that exercise will not undo the damage done by prolonged sitting. Our technology has made us the most sedentary humans in history.
Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system: “Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.
Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research says that people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.
The obvious remedy to sitting disease is standing—while you compute or do any number of activities. Standing is like walking: It increases energy burns calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow and ramps up metabolism.
As a result, more companies are investing in standing desks for their employees and offering the options to choose whether you sit or stand.
Providing your employees with standing desks could also help increase overall productivity. Standing, instead of sitting at a desk all day, where the temptation of slouching is all too great, could help improve posture as well as overall focus throughout the day. Your employees are also more likely to be more energised and focused. Working at a standing desk provides you and your muscles with more freedom, which aren’t constricted from sitting down.
When using a standing desk your heart will beat considerably faster per beat, which not only will burn more calories, but improve blood circulation and raise blood sugar levels. This can also help improve overall metabolism.
If investing in a standing desk isn’t right for you right now, think about products that you can use with your current fixed sitting desk. The Deskalator is one of our best selling products and customer feedback is overwhelming positive. Available in both Black and white, it is a great alternative. Have a look at the Deskalator here
In the spirit of starting small, here are a few other options to think about to add movement and activity to your work day
Walking meetings. Who said meetings have to be confined to the office or a stuffy room? Grab a notebook, pen and your workmates and hit the streets or office corridors for your meeting.
Get up and move every 20 minutes. New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Standing Desk Set up
- Monitor should be 20-28 inches away from your eyes with the screen at a 20-degree tilt
- Table height should be at or slightly below elbow height
- Elbows at a 90-degree angle to the keyboard
- Eyes looking slightly down to the monitor
An essential addition to your new standing workspace is the Anti- Fatigue Mat. View our range here.
As more companies make the transition to sit or stand desking Workspacedirect offer a range of either single standing desks or work group sit/stand desks. Contact us for a meeting and find out how we can move you towards a healthier and more productive work place.
- Tanya Hanrahan