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How is a sit-stand desk beneficial for my health?
There is a growing trend for commercial office furniture that encourages active working, but are electric desks worth the hype and can they really make a difference to your health?
What is a sit-stand desk?
A sit-stand workstation is, quite simply, a desk that allows you to switch between sitting and standing while you work. There are a number of different types available. The most popular type is an electric height adjustable desk, which allows the user to control the height of the desktop at the push of a button. By choosing a motorised desk, the user gets a simple-to-use solution that they can adapt quickly to suit their needs. Alternatively, some desks are manually adjustable and can be controlled with a crank handle. This can be a more economical option for tight budgets, although electric desks have reduced greatly in price in recent years. The third option is a standing desk converter, which is placed on an existing desktop to allow it to be used as a standing desk. The benefit of this is that the user doesn’t need to change their whole workstation. On the other hand, it restricts the amount of space available for working and has to be stored somewhere when not in use. We recommend that you look at all the features available to choose the option that suits you best.
An electric standing desk will come with a choice of single or dual motor operation. A dual motor model will feature a separate motor in each leg with a shared control panel, while a single motor model will have a rod to connect the motor (normally housed in or near one leg) to both sides. Which one is best for you will depend on your needs. A dual motor may provide quieter operation or a faster adjustment speed. You should also look at the load capacity of the table to determine strength and durability.
As well as allowing the user to change between sitting and standing, one of the biggest benefits of a rising desk is that it accommodates people of all different heights. The distance between the lowest and the highest point (known as stroke length) is an important feature to look for, especially if you are above or below average height, to ensure the desk works for you. Whether sitting down or standing up, a comfortable working position for a tall user will not be the same as it is for a shorter user. An electric adjustable desk can be fine-tuned to suit each employee. This is particularly useful in flexible offices with hot desking systems. Furthermore, the desktop height can be adjusted to accommodate a wheelchair, making the workplace more accessible for everyone.
What are the benefits of a sit and stand desk for my physical health?
According to the NHS, many adults in the UK spend around 9 hours a day sitting. This includes the long hours we spend sitting at home, commuting and at home in front of the TV. Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down fat. Numerous studies have identified a sedentary lifestyle as one of the biggest risk factors for significant health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal problems. However, standing for long periods is not good for your body either as it can cause tiredness and discomfort as well as damage to lower joints, inflammation in the feet and legs, and muscular fatigue. So, what is the solution?
Variety is key. Regular movement has been shown to increase metabolism, strengthen core muscles, improve posture and even boost concentration levels. Using a stand up and sit down desk is an effective way to keep your body moving and avoid the aches, pains and health complaints associated with being in the same position all day.
Standing up for just a few hours a day can have huge health benefits. According to the BBC, a study conducted by the University of Chester measured the effects of standing for at least three hours a day for a week. It showed that by doing this every day for a year someone can burn “about 30,000 extra calories…the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year”. Furthermore, a study of 146 NHS staff, led by researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), demonstrated that sit-stand desks are effective at reducing sitting time among workers with a predominantly sedentary job. Half of the trial group were given a height-adjustable desk, instructional material and goals for increased standing time to be compared to a control group working at their normal workstation with no additional support. At the start of the trial period, the NHS staff involved were spending an average of 9.7 hours a day sitting down. Over the course of a year the amount of time spent sitting decreased by over 80 minutes: at three months it had decreased by an average of 50.62 minutes a day, at six months by 64.4 minutes a day and at 12 months by 82.39 minutes a day.
What are the benefits of a sit stand office desk for my mental wellbeing?
Not only does active office furniture improve physical health, it also has a knock-on effect on performance, productivity and mood. The aforementioned BMJ study also demonstrated that sit stand desks have a positive effect on mental wellbeing at work. At the end of the one-year study, participants who had been given a standing desk reported improved quality of life, reduced fatigue and reduced anxiety as well as better engagement with their work and improved job performance.
Why should I use a standing desk mat?
Most offices have hard floors or very thin carpet. Standing on this type of floor for long periods can cause damage to the knees, ankles and hips, inflammation in the feet and lower legs, and muscle fatigue. An anti fatigue standing mat is a very simple and cost-effective solution to this problem. It encourages micro-movements that improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart and evenly distribute pressure throughout the lower limbs. This reduces the strain on muscles and joints and helps alleviate any associated pain. Matting for your standing desk is an essential part of an ergonomic workstation. It is a small investment that can make a big difference to your health and productivity at work.
Is a stand-up meeting table a good investment?
Standing up is an effective way to keep your meeting focused, encourage a quicker exchange of ideas and save time that could be spent on other work tasks. Because people generally don’t want to stand for too long, they are more likely to stay on topic and speak concisely. The most successful standing meetings should have a clear purpose and be scheduled to last no longer than 15 minutes. If the meeting needs to be longer, it’s best to give the option to vary between sitting and standing. A sit-stand conference table gives you the flexibility to choose how to hold your meeting. Raise your standing meeting table for brainstorming sessions and quick team catch-ups but sit down for board meetings and all-day training sessions.
On this website, you will find a selection of quality electric standing desks at affordable prices. They are available in a number of tabletop and frame colours to match your existing office furniture set. For a complete active working solution, we recommend combining your new desk with an anti-fatigue standing mat to provide comfort and support while standing and a wobble stool that will keep your body moving even when you do choose to sit down.