Office Design |

August 09, 2016

Standing vs. Sitting Desks

If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely sitting down. Take a moment to think – how long have you been sat down for? Reading, eating, working and writing are among the many activities that we do while sitting down – and it’s not looking good for our general health!

According to recent health studies, sitting at a desk for over four hours could be the health equivalent of smoking more than an entire pack of cigarettes!

Research states that on average we spend nine hours a day sat down – more than we do sleeping. Most jobs require us to sit at our desk for the best part of eight hours a day before having to sit while driving home to then spend the evening slouched on the sofa.

Increasing concern on sedentary lifestyles have allowed for standing desks to regain some popularity. In this blog we will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both sitting and standing desks, and why it’s necessary for us to consider alternative ways of working.

Standing Desks

Although the perceived health benefits of using a standing over a sitting desk are to be confirmed, recent studies have shown that standing rather than sitting could help battle problems linked to obesity, varicose veins, disability and metabolic risk.

As a result, more companies are investing in standing desks for their employees.

Standing desks come in a variety of styles and sizes and may be specialised to suit various tasks and purposes. For example, a standing desk used for architectural drafting will differ to one used in a traditional office.

Providing your employees with standing desks could also help increase overall productivity. Standing, instead of sitting at a desk all day, where the temptation of slouching is all too great, could help improve posture as well as overall focus throughout the day. Your employees are also more likely to be more energised. Working at a standing desk provides you and your muscles with more freedom, which aren’t constricted from sitting down.

When using a standing desk your heart will beat considerably faster per beat, which not only will burn more calories, but improve blood circulation and raise blood sugar levels. This can also help improve overall metabolism.

Who would benefit most from using a standard desk? Designers, architects, artists are among the creative professions that would benefit from having standing desks in the workplace. Traditional office workers are the most common users of standing desks due to the listed benefits. Here at Workspace Design and Build, our team of experts will be able to recommend a number of office design features, including standing desks, which would coincide with your profession and benefit your employees in the long-term.

Is standing all day the answer?

Although standing while working improves blood circulation and helps burn more calories per hours, it can also create additional strain our backs, joints and feet.

While we are in a “standing movement” and recent studies examining whether a sedentary lifestyle could put us at risk are available, such studies don’t prove that standing desks are the answer.

If used correctly, standing desks could be part of the solution on the way to healthier work well-being. But at extortionate costs, perhaps not. It’s not whether how much you sit or stand, but also how much physical activity – especially low-level – that you do throughout the day.

Rather than standing on our feet all day, the healthiest way to perhaps survive a sedentary day is by standing up every twenty minutes. As mentioned, standing can help contract the muscles, promote a flow of blood within the body leaving you more energised and can in the long-term minimise the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Whether you decide to install sitting or standing desks into your office, of course the most important thing is to ensure that you have the optimum conditions and equipment. See our blog on how to sit at your desk for a better posture, which will also have positive effects for your employees in generating wellbeing within the workplace.

And you?

Do you think that in today’s workplace designs, standing desks are necessary to improve our health? Is sitting for hours on end really doing as much damage to your health as smoking? At Workspace Design and Build we love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.