Updated: Nov 20, 2019
“Sitting is the new smoking; it takes years off your life!”
You’ve surely heard these quote being ushered around the work place as people scramble between their office cubicles and break-out spaces, looking for the perfect place to perch for the day, hoping to get in some more time upright.
The fact is, that in the modern working day, you sit for an average of 9.3 hours through driving or commuting, working, lounging, reading, writing, talking, eating and even digesting. Given that Australians have decreased their sleep average to 7 hours per night, it’s likely that you are spending more hours sitting than anything else. While the risks of prolonged sitting include reduced attention span, obesity, CV disease, increased chance of cancer, lagging memory, decreased energy and productivity; standing has the ability to reverse these problems that are essentially blocking your path to the company’s success.
So, why is standing better for you?
1) Focus and concentration are improved
Did you know that Danish employers have a mandatory responsibility to offer their staff height adjustable desks? One of the KEY benefits of being able to toggle between sitting and standing at your desk all day, is that focus and concentration are improved by increasing the level of oxygen and blood flow to your brain.
2) Improved productivity
Because you feel more focused through utilising the energy promoted by standing, you will find that employees working at a standing desk will have greater productivity, better results, be more engaged and have more energy to fulfil their daily tasks. Greater productivity equals greater results, meaning that not only are you doing your staff a favour by changing up their work space, but those favours are likely to give your business a solid ROI.
3) Posture is improved
When you sit at a desk that isn’t geared for your personal physique, you’re likely to be hunched over your desk or workstation, with shoulders forward and a curve in your spine. When this happens for long periods of time, your posture lends to maintaining this position giving you rounded shoulders and a greater change of developing kyphosis (hunched upper back) in your later years.
Either take regular breaks to stretch; enrol in Pilates or Yoga classes; or come and see us about supplying new ergonomically designed desks and tables in your office. Standing is proven to open your chest, draw your shoulders back, elongate the spinal column and reduce strain on the back muscles. Impressive.
4) Increased memory retention
It’s true! Sedentary behaviour such as sitting is associated with thinning of brain structures such as the medial temporal lobe (MTL) that are associated with memory. If you don’t have a chance to play memory inducing games, get enough omega 3 fats in your diet, or see a hypnotist who can help jog it for you; perhaps try investing in a sit-to-stand desk from us instead.
5) Increased energy and circulation
Through standing more often than not, our energy is enhanced by utilising more muscles, and we’re not cutting our body in half by sitting down in a chair. This means that our circulation is improved and we won’t be as prone to cold or numb feet, and a hot head leaving us with annoying headaches. Trust me – I’ve tried and tested this one myself!
6) Fewer aches and pains
If you leave the office with a sore back, stiff neck, or tight hamstrings; it could be due to your seated posture at work. Because we hang our heads lower, and round our shoulders at seated desks, it stretches and strains all muscles across our posterior chain (backside) instead of strengthening them when we stand. While converting to a standing posture can be physically painful to begin with due to new muscle engagement, it only take a matter of time to adjust and feel the benefits for yourself.
7) Increased calorie burn
If you’re conscious about your waistline, the good news is that by switching to a standing desk, you will burn approximately 7% more calories than when you sit. Scientists have proven that prolonged periods of sitting slow down your metabolism and actually promote fat gain. So if you missed that gym session this morning, or the rain stopped you from walking to the train station; lets hope you can at least allocate two thirds of your day to standing at your desk. ‘Active’ workstations as they are being coined, essentially help keep you in shape due to engaging more compound muscle groups. Two votes yes.
8) Reduced risk of type two diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers
All of which you don’t want in your life. These lifestyle diseases, can be avoided by following the doctors orders, and are now one of the key reasons your MD is promoting that you get up and move more often, which is much easier to do while you stand at your desk, swaying to the beat of the music boosting staff morale.
9) Standing can increase your lifespan
I know this one is hard to believe, but according to a recent study by Bloomberg in the USA, standing more often than not can add up to two years life expectancy to your life!
If those nine reasons aren’t enough to convince you of the benefits of a standing desk, why not try our FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL* for yourself? We have a great range of sit-to-stand desks and other ergonomically designed furniture that is perfect for increasing workplace wellness, and if you give us a call on (03) 9761 4555 we can explain to you how.
Take a moment to digest the facts and consider the risks versus benefits for yourself and the team.
Wishes in wellness,
The Balance Team
*Free trial is available to offices within a 30km radius of our Melbourne site, and subject to availability.
National Heart Foundation
Plos Medical Journal
Virtual Medical Centre