3 Reasons To Stand Up At Work

Traditionally, offices the world over are filled with standardised, boring ‘sitting’ desks. We’ve all seen them, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s basically a desk, a chair – and nothing else. In recent years though, there has been a break from this with ‘standing’ desks and workstations becoming increasingly popular within some of the more forward thinking offices. With the advent of open plan offices workplaces are now becoming more modern and dynamic – gone are the days of closed off offices with doors shut – employers are seeking new ways to keep staff energised and maximise health benefits. As you would expect, the leaders in this field are the big global corporations such as Google, Pixar, and Facebook who have overhauled their traditional office environments with bright colours and creative office designs to complement the open plan layouts.

With all this in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why standing desks may become the new standard in offices.

Major Health benefits
Sitting, being an incredibly sedentary activity burns a very low amount of calories. This is why standing for long periods can seem so tiring to those who are used to sitting all day; you put to use many muscles in your legs and lower back and shift from side to side, all of which burns energy.

Research that has been done into standing as opposed to sitting all day has produced some startling results. Here’s some of the facts that really stand out:

  • Among healthy people who exercise vigorously, those who sit the most have larger waists and worse levels of blood sugar than their non-sitting counterparts. 
  • Regardless of physical activity levels, time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality levels. In a nutshell, regardless fo how fit you may be, you are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack if you sit for most of the day. 
  • As soon as you sit down, electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute and enzymes in your body that help break down fat drop 90%

Apart from the statistics above that spell out future consequences, standing at your desk also dramatically improves posture immediately and can aid weight loss through the better blood flow, constant shifting and moving around that naturally occurs while standing.

Productivity Benefits

When standing, you are in an ‘action’ position which many standing desk advocates have said improved their productivity. Moving around the office seems far more routine when you’re already standing as it eliminates the repetitiveness of standing up and sitting down. Voice projection whilst talking on the phone is also improved while standing, as well as increasing your stamina. Try playing a bit of music – you’ll be amazed at how much this will distract you from the fact that you’re standing!

Of course, there are some cons to a standing desk – sore feet and legs at first and working overtime hours can be especially tiring. There are compromises that can be made with regards to this, though; extenders can be added to desks so the switch can be made between standing and sitting workstations, giving employees the option of sitting – it is still ok to sit down for part of the day! Overall, the benefits of a standing desk greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

Remember, even if you have to sit at your desk, there are other things you can do to be more active. Try taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or instead of emailing or phoning someone in another office, get up and go in there. You’ll be surprised at how beneficial these few little changes can be!