Does your job keep you on your feet all day, or sitting for hours on end? If you work in an office, it’s probably the latter — and it can be worrying, considering some worrying reports about the impact that prolonged periods of sitting are having on your health.
Apple CEO Tim Cook even called sitting the “new cancer”, as Independent reported. All workers in the company’s “Apple Park” have been given standing desks, but the benefits can vary…
Sitting for a long time can be bad for the health of workers
That gets rid of one thing first: yes, spending excessive time sitting can harm your health more than spending the same amount of time standing, as this seems to be backed up by research.
Dr Peter Ottone, a New Jersey chiropractor, calls sitting for long periods of time “damaging to the spine”, because “the ongoing contracture of the abdominal and hamstring muscles and the resulting imbalance affects the mechanics of the lower back,” in words quoted by Health channel.
Standing can help workers lose weight
Another good reason to use standing desks: the more employees stand, the more weight they can move. One of the studies in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that, compared to sitting, standing saw workers burned 0.15 more calories per minute.
The study’s senior author, Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, attributed this to the fact that “the amount and volume of muscles a person uses [while] standing taller than sitting.
The right seat can improve ergonomics
One good incentive to stay invested in a sit-down desk is being able to get a seat that is ergonomically designed for the long-term comfort of your workers. However, if workers are encouraged to stand, they must be careful how they stand, as chairs would be taken out of the equation.
The perfect solution for ensuring proper foot position when standing is to wear a shoe insert, such as that Prothallus offer.
“Just as sitting and leaning forward for long periods of time can increase stress on the back, the same goes for standing with poor ergonomics,” warns Ottone.
Standing desks can encourage people to move around
Despite the publicized benefits of standing desks, the benefits to be derived from standing alone can be exaggerated. However, such a desk can encourage your workers to take advantageous breaks.
“Quite a number of studies have shown that a day of sedentary breaks with standing or short walks appears to have a beneficial effect on health parameters such as blood sugar control, blood pressure and pain and fatigue,” says Bethany Barone Gibbs, PhD. , assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Can a “sitting table” provide the best of both worlds?
Sitting or standing for too long can cause conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder, back, and neck pain. So can a “sit-stand desk” – one that can be adjusted to sit or stand – be a happy medium?