Mobiles, social media, Zoom calls, voice activated devices (Hey Siri!), Netflix, gaming and other ‘smart’ technologies have all skyrocketed the amount of time many of us spend sitting down, both at work and at home.
This sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increase in health problems including obesity and poor nutrition1 which can put your team at higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The National Heart Foundation of Australia recommends that adults should aim to create more opportunities to avoid prolonged periods of sitting throughout the day, and that workplaces should implement strategies to reduce the amount of time their employees spend sitting1.
One easy way to do this is by installing height-adjustable desks so that employees have the option of working standing up.
Benefits of sit/stand desks
Moving more and sitting less helps improve physical and mental health, increases energy levels and reduces the risk of obesity2 and other health conditions. There are also some other health benefits associated with using stand up desks.
Many of us sit with bad posture, slumped over our computer keyboard for hours. Sitting in the same position for a long period of time can cause back and neck pain. Using a stand up desk with proper ergonomics can help improve posture and won’t put the compression on your spine that sitting can. Using an adjustable desk will mean you will be able better manage your back pain by adjusting it to the height that is right for you.
Increases productivity and energy levels
A study where workers used sit-stand desks for four weeks found that participants experienced greater energy and alertness at work and reported increased face-to-face interaction with coworkers4. In another year-long study, researchers found employees who reduced sitting time by using height-adjustable workstations said they were less tired and more engaged3.
One of the key benefits of using a sit/stand desk is that it encourages us to move more and vary the way we position our bodies. It can help promote incidental movement throughout the day. As well as using stand-up desks, other ways to encourage incidental exercise include walking to your work colleagues’ desk instead of emailing, using the stairs instead of the lift, having walking meetings and taking a break from your computer regularly.
Disadvantages of sit/stand desks
Although there are many benefits of stand-up desks, they also have some shortfalls, and if you have been used to sitting down for most of the day standing up to work can take some getting used to.
Standing in the same position for long periods of time can be hard on your back, legs and feet. That’s why it is so important if you are working at a sit/stand that you make sure you move around regularly.
Some people also find that some tasks – such as those that require fine motor skills like design – may be easier to do sitting down.
How much does a stand up desk cost?
From a make-shift sdesk using a stack of books to a top of the range customised desk with automatic electronic height adjustments and a built in treadmill and everything in between, the cost of a sit/stand desk can vary widely between types, designs, features and sizes.
Whether you want to spend a couple of hundred dollars or a couple of thousand, there is an option to suit every budget. As well as price, other factors to consider when buying a stand up desk include how easy it is to adjust the height, ease of assembly, design, quality and comfort.
Although a standing desk may cost more than a traditional sit down desk, the investment could be worth it if it means a happier, healthier and more productive workplace.
Is it time for you to take a stand?
By installing stand-up desks that are easily adjustable (some just by the push of a button), many office spaces offer employees the best of both worlds, allowing people to incorporate both sitting and standing into their work day depending on what suits their energy level and tasks.
Sit/stand desks are becoming a popular inclusion when creating new office spaces and can provide many health benefits. Your office furniture also tells a story about your business to your employees and customers as to how you look after your people.
At Vestra, we can work with you to ensure your furniture, fittings and fixtures create a productive workspace that meets all your needs as well as captures your business brand.
If you are in the market for a new office fitout in and around Sydney’s CBD, we can help you through the whole office design process. From desks and office furniture selection to audio-visual solutions, electrical and lighting needs and more, Vestra can help you every step of the way with expert planners, designers, project managers and builders.
Contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation.
- Heart Foundation, Sitting less for adults, 2011
- Australian Government Department of Health, About physical activity and exercise [(web page]
- BBC News (2018) Standing-desk workers ‘less tired, more engaged’ [online] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-45819203
- Dutta, Nirjhar, Walton, Thomas, and Pereira, Mark A. ‘Experience of Switching from a Traditional Sitting Workstation to a Sit-stand Workstation in Sedentary Office Workers’. 1 Jan. 2015 : 83 – 89.