The dangers of sitting for hours on end are now widely recognised – this should come as no surprise. It is currently estimated that approximately 50% of Australian workers are employed in jobs that require sitting at least some of the time. As industries and processes become further automated, this is projected to increase exponentially.
A number of studies have found strong links between prolonged sitting times and an increased risk of chronic health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Some types of cancer (lung, colon, and uterine).
Excessive sitting can also have a negative impact on one’s mental health, with the potential to exacerbate the risk of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Where do you spend 8 or more hours each day? To that, most people would answer “my desk”. So, by zeroing in on the workspace and building more activity into your day, you can take a big step towards creating a healthier environment for yourself and your colleagues.
Long-term use of sit-stand workstations (also known as standing desks) have been associated with a number of health benefits, including:
- Improved glucose levels
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Increased energy expenditure
- Weight loss
- Increased muscle tone.
Coupling the use of a standing desk with smaller steps to stay active throughout the workday can take it that one step further. Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. (Mayo Clinic) recommends taking a break from sitting every 30 minutes and standing while talking on the phone/during conference calls. He also supports the implementation of ‘walking meetings’, getting colleagues out of the conference room and into the fresh air where they are not only more physically active but more likely to be mentally engaged as well.
When making the switch, however, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We recommend starting slowly with intervals of 30-60 minutes of alternating between sitting and standing to ensure a smooth rather than sudden postural transition. Since everyone is different, this will also provide an opportunity for you to develop a routine (i.e. only checking/responding to emails while sitting, only making phone calls while standing, or even setting a timer to remind you to switch) to find out what works best for you.
Are you worried about back pain or tired legs from standing more often? It’s a very common concern regularly raised by customers. In our office, each of us uses the Standing Desk Mat Anti-Fatigue. The soft base provides support while working to help reduce fatigue and the domed surface has been ergonomically designed to promote circulation of both the legs and feet. It can attach to any work surface and has bevelled edges for increased safety/reducing any trip hazard.
View our full selection of standing desks here – if you have any questions at all, our staff would love to help. Send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.