With employees often spending up to a third of their day sitting at their desks at work, it’s no surprise that standing desks are becoming more popular.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular at the gym, or maybe you go running every morning, if you spend the rest of your day sitting at work — in your car, your office chair or on your couch at home — you are putting yourself at significant risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and a variety of cancers. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is detrimental for your health and for your business. But what’s the alternative?
Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently decided to equip the company’s new California headquarters with standing desks for every employee, describing sitting as the “new cancer”. Working in a standing position, even for only 30 minutes at a time (4 hours a day) can significantly impact your employee’s health and productivity. Sit-Stand desks, better known as standing desks or height-adjustable desks, are all the rage and make it very easy to improve posture throughout the day while working. An employee can lower or raise the standing desk based on his or her needs to comfortably stand while working. Using this kind of equipment at work can have innumerable benefits.
How standing desks improve your health
Reduce back pain
Back pain is something that 80% of office workers endure in their lifetime and sitting at a desk all day long is considered the primary cause of it. Scientific research has been conducted to examine the impact of using standing desks for office jobs in a study called the “Take-a-Stand Project”. The study showed that participants who spent an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing experienced a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain. In just over an hour a day, the participants of the “Take-a-Stand Project” saw dramatic results. Imagine what standing desks could do for your employees’ health in the long run.
Lower your risk of heart disease
Even doing an hour of intensive exercise every day may not counteract the negative health impact of sitting down all day. Scientific research has connected a sedentary lifestyle to a 147% increase in the risk of cardiovascular accidents. By using a sit-stand desk, you can spend more time on your feet and significantly decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
Avoid weight gain and obesity
Did you know that standing instead of sitting helps you reduce the risk of weight gain by burning around 50 extra calories an hour? If you were to stand for 4 hours every workday, you would burn 750 calories a week. Over the course of a full year, that would equal about 30,000 extra calories burnt off. In terms of effort and activity levels, those 30,000 calories would be the equivalent of running ten marathons a year.
Sitting down, stressing out
A study led by psychological researcher Michelle Kilpatrick of the University of Tasmania found that employees who sat for long stretches at work underwent increased rates of depression and anxiety, compared to co-workers who spent less time sitting. As discussed in previous articles, your employees’ wellness is directly connected to the image of your business. Using standing desks is, therefore, a simple and practical way to promote mental health among employees and decrease the risk of having to deal with depression and anxiety in the workspace.
Standing desks for heightened productivity
Standing desks became popular mostly due to their ability to diminish sitting time, thereby increasing employees’ energy and alertness in the workplace, but the benefits don’t stop there: standing desks may enhance their job performance as well. Thanks to a boost in employee productivity (in addition to improved employee health and well-being), businesses are guaranteed to make a return on investment for every dollar spent on standing desks.