We’ve had a few conversations in the office recently about whether or not we should stand at our desks. There are many individual reasons why this subject has been discussed, such as the increased risks of developing heart conditions or diabetes. As a result, we have noted many positives about spending the day on your feet.
Research has found that we spend, on average, 9 to 10 hours a day sitting and by simply standing up for an extra 90 minutes per day, you can significantly reduce the chances of developing diabetes. Even regularly visiting the gym is no protection against sitting all day at work. Studies have shown that sitting all day at our desks increases the chances of a heart attack by 100%.
Standing up improves posture and prevents slouching (as many of us are guilty of in our office chairs). Core strength can be improved if you maintain a good posture while standing, as well as a reduction in aches and pains in your back. If you, like me, spend a lot of your day reading and researching then the chances are that this time is spent leaning on your elbow – standing will eliminate this ‘pose’. Standing at your desk helps you to remain alert as your body does not become lethargic from remaining in the same position for a significant period of time.
Standing often makes us feel more alert and ready for action. It’s much easier to go and speak to someone if you’re already standing, rather than picking up the phone and remaining in your chair. Standing will also increase your engagement with colleagues. No longer will you need to swivel your chair around or stand up to peer over an office divider to speak to someone, you will be the beacon of engagement, ready for communication and collaboration!
When speaking with a colleague who has visited your desk, you would no longer be speaking to them from below, standing will enable a conversation at eye level. Many sales people are of the opinion that standing while on a call improves your confidence and, as a result, the likelihood of a successful call.
Active mind = active body
Standing at your desk will also increase the amount you move throughout the day, your muscles continually flexing and stretching to adjust your standing position and balance. Blood flow improves too. Whether it be walking to a colleagues desk or just moving on the spot, this is all activity that will contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Being on your feet for longer periods of time during the working week will also mean that, should you be required to spend extended periods of time standing out of work, it will not be so much of an effort. Standing burns 1/3 more calories than sitting at your desk, great for weight loss.
- Standing at your desk reduce back pain.
- Standing rather than sitting strengthens your core.
- Standing increases blood flow (over sitting).
- Standing reduces the chances of developing heart related illness. Those who sit a lot are 54% more likely to have a heart attack whereas those who sit for more than 23 hours a week are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.
- Standing reduces the chances of developing diabetes.
- Standing reduces the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, blood clots and thrombosis.
- Men who sit more than 6 hours a day have a 20% higher mortality rate. Women have a 40% higher mortality rate.
- Studies have also shown that regular exercise does not counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.
- Standing while working will burn a third more calories than sitting.
For further health at work tips take a look at our office wellbeing infographic.