Are you sitting down while reading this? You might not want to be!
Standing-desks, or stand-up desks – where office desks can be raised to a standing level – have been receiving a great deal of attention lately. They’re designed to encourage workers and employees to be healthier, by lowering their risk of developing diseases like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Dr. Josephine Chau, a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health discovered during a recent study that “those workers who received the sit/stand desks felt that their employer cared about them. They felt more satisfied with their work and they felt like they were being more productive and had enough energy to do their job.”
The study was published in Preventive Medicine Reports and measured the effects on the productivity of 30 call centre employees using powered standing or ‘sit/stand’ desks over a 19 week period.
The employees surveyed reported being happier and having more energy at the end of their work shifts. And, importantly for employers, it was discovered that standing/sitting desks had no negative impact on workers’ productivity levels.
But, according to the study, despite workers feeling more energized, it can be hazardous to their health if they try to stand for prolonged periods of time too soon. Why? Well, if you stand for extended periods of time without moving, you might risk developing varicose veins or even lower back ache.
The take-home message from the study is that, like introducing any new exercise, your body has to get used to it.
Dr. Chau continued: “If you go from zero standing to standing two hours a day, you’re probably going to experience some kind of discomfort.”
For women who enjoy wearing high heels in the workplace, it’s recommended that you keep a comfortable pair of shoes under your desk, for when standing at your desk.
On a final note – standing-desks aren’t the only options for office workers seeking to sit less during their work-day. Walking to meetings, talking to colleagues rather than emailing them, climbing the stairs rather than using the lift and drinking more water are all ways to reduce sedentary behavior at work.
Adjustable or ‘standing-desks’ are now available at many retail outlets at cost-effective prices.
For more information on the five best standing desks, you may be interested in checking out this link.