To sit or to stand? That is the question...
Sit/stand desks have been on the market for a while; and while there are plenty of studies which demonstrate the benefits of having the correct workstation for your individual needs, many workers still think of them as abnormal, or unnecessary. Sitting at our desks is the status quo – in fact, recent studies show employees spend a whopping 62 percent of the workday simply sitting down, either at a desk, or in a meeting room.
However, according to many health experts, sitting is the new smoking. So, how is all this sitting at work effecting our health, and what exactly can we do about it?
Enter the practical workstation...
An article from WorkRite Ergonomics states that the standard 29’ desk height only allows 50 percent of the population to work in the correct position, or even at the correct height, when using their keyboard.
This means that essentially half of us are doing our bodies a major disservice at work, potentially creating health niggles to deal with down the road. A practical workstation includes adjustable height, meaning that everyone too tall or too short for the standard desk design can find the perfect seating position. However, you may want to consider a standing desk instead, as per the BBC, standing for just three hours a day could burn as many calories as running 10 marathons!
“On average standing, for three hours a day over the course of a year can burn as many calories as running 10 marathons.” ~ Our Health BBC
What’s the word globally?
In the UK, 81 percent of office workers spend between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desk, which equates to an average of 67 days per person, per year, in a sedentary position. Over in Denmark, sit/stand Desks are really being embraced, with over 90 percent of office employees working at one.
Danish legislation states that if a job requires someone to sit two or more hours each day at a desk, then a sit-stand desk must be used. (source)
Can technology help?
Yes, we think it can. Humanscale have designed a sit/stand desk which embraces both the Internet of Things (IoT) and the concept of gamification. This technology monitors the individual user, sending an alert when they have been sitting or standing for too long. To create a little bit of healthy competition (healthy being the operative word), users can compete against each other, aiming for the highest activity score.
Designing the future
Like we said, the sit/stand desk has been around for a while, beyond digitally-enabled designs, there are some more innovative and potentially conversation-starting designs coming onto the market. Treadmill and hamster wheel style desks are popping up already, and who know, it could only be but a matter of of time until some organizations incorporate an entire gym routine, with specific equipment, into a handy, functional desk design!
We jest, but clearly, there are significant benefits to adjustable workstations and other designs that help us rectify our sedentary lifestyles. If you can’t convince your business to invest in new desks, then maybe take a leaf out of one Reddit user’s book, and create your own solution.
*Image courtesy: Reddit
Warning: We hold no responsibility for the damage you may cause when copying such a creative solution!