When it comes to office work, sitting down is a pretty standard thing. You see it almost everywhere; staff hunched over their desks typing tirelessly away sinking into their comfy black leather chairs and it makes you wonder – why would anyone want to be standing at their desk all day? But standing whilst working is now becoming a growing productivity trend and it’s not just the ‘cool’ new fad, it’s a surprisingly productive tool that’s taking businesses by storm.
Standing desks have been around for quite some time now and the health benefits of getting out of your chair are by no means a new thing. And whilst sitting can definitely allow us to rest, standing has proven positives of actually energizing you whilst you work – but are they right for your business?
1. Sitting is the New Smoking
The latest catch phrase which has been supported by a fast growing number of medical experts worldwide, ‘sitting is the new smoking’ proves just how beneficial this latest trend is. From a health and wellbeing perspective, it’s becoming painfully clear that sitting all day is terrible for you – and most of us spend half our lives sitting.
The average person will sleep for seven hours a night and sit from nine to 13 hours every day. Our bodies are simply not built for such long periods of sedentary activity and the biggest problems associated with such lifestyles include obesity, muscle pain, heart disease and diabetes. According to Men’s Journal, sitting is one of the unhealthiest things you can do, so it makes sense to take a stand.
2. A Boost in Better Posture
There’s a significant cost to businesses in sick days due to sitting-related back, neck and muscle problems throughout Australia and America, with the UK economy particularly suffering from the expenses. One of the biggest benefits of standing at your work desk is a boost in posture. Bad postures are notorious for affecting your mood, productivity and skeletomuscular health so it’s essential we make changes to benefit.
Of course though, you can still have a bad posture standing up if you don’t use the desk correctly. You want to look for a desk that promotes correct standing posture or you may as well just be sitting. One of the most common problems of a standing desk is hunching over the desk to look at your screen. To avoid this issue, opt for an adjustable standing desk. Not only does this enable you to change the desk to suit your posture and offer better flexibility, but it also gives you the best of both worlds – sitting and standing at the one desk. Choosing an adjustable standing desk allows you to stand in a neutral posture with your computer monitor at eye level and table height slightly below elbow height.
3. Higher Levels of Energy
Whilst standing for long periods of time doesn’t sound energetic in the slightest, you’d be surprised about how energizing it can actually be. Standing in the right posture working in an office environment can boost your focus and enable you to tackle writing and administrate projects more quickly.
Standing up offers proven benefits of keeping staff more alert. Because you release more energy by standing, your brain activity is better stimulated. The more active your body is, the more neurons are sent to your brain which speeds up your thought processes. There’s less time to slouch in your seat and get lazy too, and it promotes a healthier flow of blood moving through your body whilst you work.
4. Physiological Outcomes
A lot of scientific evidence suggests that standing desks are effective in boosting your overall health for both physiological and mental health components. Not only does it burn more calories than sitting, but your heart rate is slightly increased and your overall health outcomes improved significantly with regular use.
A clear mood boost is evident, with less cases of fatigue, tension and depression reported. Energy, focus and happiness levels are all lifted too with a huge decrease in stress – perfect for any working day! Employees in office environments that made the switch from sitting to standing are happier workers. Opting for desks that offer the flexibility of both standing and sitting however, can provide staff with all the benefits of standings but can help to avoid those new muscle aches that may develop later in the day.
5. Workplace Productivity
Every work environment is constantly looking for new ways to boost productivity, and this new trend may very well be the answer we’re seeking. Happier and healthier workers tend to be more productive, so it pays to invest in the health and wellbeing of employees.
A good balance between standing and sitting at your desk will be the most effective way to raise levels of workplace productivity. Standing at your desk for the entire day, or not having it set up correctly can diminish the health benefits and give you the same problems you’re wanting to prevent – so balance and height flexibility is key.
Would you consider getting a standing desk for increased health and productivity benefits? Whilst the switch may feel a little strange at first, standing throughout the working day will keep your energy levels ripe and leave you feeling much livelier.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson at Interia Systems – the go to place for office furniture and fitouts with over 30 years’ experience in office set ups and equipment. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.