How often are you at your desk during the day?
According to Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute research, between work, relaxation, socializing and transportation between them, commercial office workers may spend as many as 15 hours per day sitting down.
Prolonged stretches of sitting down have been shown to negatively affect both physical and mental health. As employers place a growing priority on workers’ overall wellness, height-adjustable or “sit-stand” desks are becoming one of the fastest-growing employee perks in the workspace.
While various studies differ in the amount and level of impact adjustable desks actually provide, the research is clear that standing desks do lead to benefits seen and felt by employees who use them, including:
Reduced risk of weight gain and obesity
Standing only burns slightly more calories than sitting, but those calories will add up over time and any movement up out of your desk chair is encouraged! Sitting longer has been strongly linked to obesity and metabolic disease, with American Diabetes Association research showing obese individuals tend to sit for about two and a half hours more than people at a healthy weight each day.
Lower blood sugar
Blood sugar levels naturally rise after meals, but studies have shown that stints of after-lunch standing can help. One University of Chester study found that standing for at least 180 minutes after lunch reduced office workers’ blood sugar spikes by 43%.
Reducing diabetes, heart disease and cancer risk
Sedentary lifestyles have consistently been linked with more than 30 different chronic diseases and dangerous conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. And while research is still emerging on the subject, it’s believed that prolonged sitting can increase your risk for certain types of cancer. One Journal of the National Cancer Institute study linked sedentary behavior to a 32% higher risk of developing endometrial cancer, a 24% greater risk of colon cancer and a 21% increased risk of lung cancer.
Limit back pain
Back, neck and shoulder pain are some of the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day and are hunched over their desks. Participants in multiple studies have reported reduced lower back, upper back, neck and shoulder pain by as much as 30-50% after just a few weeks of using standing desks.
Improve your focus, mood and overall mental health
Prolonged sitting isn’t just bad for the body — it can negatively affect your mind, too! Sedentary behavior like sitting has been linked to increased risks for anxiety and depression. A report published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examining 24 studies conducted across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, found individuals with the most sedentary behavior to be 25% more likely to be depressed than the least sedentary.
Those who use standing desks have reported increased productivity and mental alertness, with a Texas A&M School of Public Health study seeing 87% of employees using standing desks feeling more energetic throughout the workday.
The bottom line is simple: our human bodies were made to move! Sitting too much, like most do at typical office jobs, is bad for your health and it’s time — quite literally — to take a stand!
As Central Indiana’s preferred Haworth dealer, Commercial Office Environments can outfit your employees with Haworth’s full line of Planes®, Jump® and Hop® height-adjustable desks and tables. All are easily adjustable with manual or electronic mechanisms to position your workstations in the perfect configuration to achieve employee productivity and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.