Most of us spend the majority of the day sitting. Whether it’s at our desks, on the train, at the dining table for dinner, or while watching TV in the evening, most of our days are spent sitting without even realising it. And this can be detrimental to our health. With an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and poor posture, many have been looking for an alternative way to work.
Enter standing desks…
In recent years, standing desks have been a popular option for office workers and those who work from home too. Here, we’ll be exploring what a standing desk actually is and how replacing your regular desks with standing desks can be hugely beneficial to your employees’ health and wellbeing.
What is a Standing Desk?
Standing desks allow employees to stand comfortably while working at a computer. The heights of many standing desks are adjustable, which means employees can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day easily. Some higher-end standing desks even have a memory function to make it even easier to adjust to the employee’s perfect heights for working.
A standing desk can help to reduce the risk of health issues that sitting all day can bring, as well as boost productivity. As they are still a relatively new concept, research is continuously being carried out to learn the full effects of standing desks.
Here are the top 7 benefits so far of using a standing desk:
1. Can Reduce Back Pain
As we get older, we’re more prone to experiencing back pain – especially if we spend most of our days sat down and in a hunched position. In fact, when it comes to the most common complaints from UK workers, back pain took the top spot. Human beings weren’t made to simply sit all day long. So, by incorporating standing desks, employees are able to stand, stretch and significantly reduce the risks of back pain. Just one extra hour of standing a day can make a big positive impact on employee health.
2. May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
When sat down for a prolonged period of time, the blood flow slows down. This then allows for any fatty acids to build up in the vessels, which leads to heart disease. By sitting down all day, employees are much more at risk of heart disease than they would be if they could stand more often. Even an hour of exercise after work cannot reverse the effects that sitting for hours and hours can have. The use of standing desks is the way forward in ensuring your employees’ hearts stay healthy.
3. Breaks Up Hours of Sitting
In theory, employees are told to stand up and take a 15-minute break every hour. This is much easier said than done though. Employees with a high workload, tight deadlines or back to back phone call meetings, may not realise the time passing by, and before they know it, it’s almost time to leave. While we always encourage taking breaks away from the screen, if it’s sometimes not possible then standing desks gives employees the flexibility to break up the hours of sitting while still being by their desks for any important calls or work they need to finish.
4. Helps to Maintain a Healthy Weight
It’s no secret that when someone intakes more calories than they burn, it’s inevitable they will gain weight. Burning calories is something our body naturally does, whether we’re sleeping, showering or sitting, calories will continue to burn as we use energy. More calories can be burned during exercise such as running, swimming or going to the gym, but they can also be burned more simply by standing rather than sitting. Approximately 170 extra calories can be burned in the afternoon when standing – almost 1000 more burned calories each week. This can help in maintaining a healthier weight and lowering the risk of obesity.
5. Can Improve Posture
When employees are sitting at their desks, it’s very likely that they are slouched or hunched with their knees or ankles crossed, some employees may even sit on their legs in the chair, which reduces blood circulation. All of this can lead to poor posture and weaker muscles. Standing intermittently throughout the day can help to stretch and strengthen their legs, ankles, core and back muscles, improving their posture.
6. Helps Improve Mood and Energy Levels
When sitting for an entire day, we often tend to feel lethargic and low. This is because a sedentary lifestyle links to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. As standing uses more muscles and forces us to move more, it gives us more energy, which, in turn, can boost our moods too. Standing also invites more collaborative working – especially within open-plan offices and allows for quick, stand-up meetings.
7. Boosts Productivity and Focus
With standing desks able to improve both employees’ mood and energy levels, this can also lead to a more productive workday. While standing desks may seem like they can hinder performance and daily tasks, such as typing, these desks are designed to ensure they have no impact on work tasks but improve the health and wellbeing of employees too, which will only help to increase productivity and motivation.
At Officeology, we specialise in functional and comfortable work environments and interior design solutions for the offices of the future. Take a look at our office furniture and office fit-out solutions, and contact us today to discuss your office interior options further.
For more information on employee wellbeing, read about why it’s important to stay hydrated at work.