You’re going to want to take a seat before you read this. Actually, you’ll probably want to stand. Why? The truth about sedentary working is pretty startling.
It All Started 60 Years Ago…
Sit-to-stand working has gone from a popular trend to an uncontested standard in today’s office. But the motivation behind this “modern” movement isn’t new at all.
Cutting-edge research in the 1950’s found that sedentary bus drivers were 2x as likely to suffer a heart attack than their more active conductor counterparts. Since then, the studies and statistics have only gotten more compelling, and thanks to today’s technology – both inside and outside of the workplace – it’s become easy to adapt. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your office’s wellness or need help convincing your boss to get you a sit-to-stand desk, here it is:
The Startling Statistics
- Don’t just sit there!
Countless studies have confirmed a correlation between longer time spent sitting each day and an increase in death rates. (The average worker is now up to a whopping 15 hours seated per day!)
- The “Sitting Disease.”
Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths a year.
Ok, so it’s not the act of sitting itself that will kill you, but the repercussions of moving too little. Here’s what we mean:
- My neck, my back… hurt.
When we’re on a computer, we arch our necks forward, leaning toward the screen. This puts unnatural stress on the upper vertebrae and affecting posture and leading to premature degeneration of discs (a 60-70% increase, according to one Yale University study), which cause issues from your neck all the way down to your pelvic bones.
- Weight gain is higher…significantly.
Sounds like a no-brainer, BUT the more alarming part is that other factors like physical activity were all accounted for too. That means even post-work workouts don’t reverse the negative effects.
- It’s not just the scale that’s going up.
Blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease – all of which contribute to brain issues as we age – are all at higher risk too.
- It’s not all in your head.
The more one sits, the thinner regions of the brain associated with memory tend to be. The less we move, the slower our blood circulation and brain function, which can lead to long term effects on cognition levels, as well as depression and anxiety.
- Use it or lose it.
Your legs consist some of the most powerful muscles in the body (like your glutes!). They need to get used to be maintained, so long periods of sitting not only lead to weakened muscles, but swollen legs, varicose vein issues, and even blood clots.
- I can feel it in my bones.
Research has shown that increased hours of sitting per day has led to a decrease in onset of osteoporosis and an increase in the number of hip fractures in aging workers.
Why Your Office Needs Sit-to-Stand Desks
What may also surprise you is that despite the mobile world we live in, sedentary jobs have actually increased 83% since 1950, according to the American Heart Association. For a typical worker, more than half of their day is spent sitting, so aside from all the very compelling health issues, here’s a few more reasons why your office needs sit-to-stand desks:
- Better Productivity
Ever see the Google or Facebook offices? They know that sit-to-stand desks can help their team be better than their competition. That’s because more blood flow to the brain helps employees make better decisions and work faster – especially during that afternoon lull. The proof? A recent study with high school teenagers using these desks for the first time resulted in a 7-14% improvement in test scores, plus increased activity in the part of the brain that works with memory and problem-solving.
- Boost in Morale
Not all employees are built the same. Sit-to-stand accommodates all different heights and workstyles. Unlike the one-size-fits-all solutions, your employees can choose how they work based on their personal preferences and the task at hand, so that they feel in control. The more employees that feel a greater sense of job satisfaction, the higher overall office morale will be.
- Seriously, Health
We said it before, but humans are simply not built to sit. So in addition to the risks, pain, and discomfort associated with sitting for hours a day, there’s the behavioral, physiological, and psychological impacts too. Short intervals of movement gets your blood flowing to the brain to increase your energy levels and stimulate function to help you stay more alert – and happier!
- Reduced Sick Leave
As a result of the health benefits sit-to-stand provides, your employees will miss less work. In America, employees take an average of 4 sick days annually, but those in poor health – suffering from chronic conditions, high blood pressure or diabetes, etc. – take an average of 12 sick days per year.
- It’s Easy
Sit-to-stand solutions are so easy to use. But you want to make sure your employees use them properly to maximize the health benefits of this ergonomic office solution. Make sure you alternate from standing to sitting frequently throughout the workday and always pay attention to your posture.
To learn more about sit-to-stand working or explore some of these solutions for your workplace, contact our office furniture experts to discuss your needs. And stay tuned for our next blog on tricks to get the most from your sit-to-stand desk.