Sit-Stand Desks: Better for Employees, Better for Employers
A sit-stand desk, or standing desk, benefits workers and businesses alike. For employees, it combats problems associated with sitting, alleviating aches and pains, improving posture, increasing circulation and boosting mental health. The average Brit sits down for 8.9 hours per day and sitting for too long can have such a serious effect on physical and mental health that it has been compared with smoking. And for businesses, the results can be striking: more effective, focused and engaged employees, an increase in productivity and a reduction in absenteeism which has a genuine effect on the bottom line – sick days lost due to lifestyle-related diseases is costing the British economy over £8.2 billion per year.
Why Sit-Stand Desks?
Issues around wellness are becoming ever more important to businesses. Employees who use sit-stand desks are 71% more focused, 66% more productive and 33% less stressed.* Unsurprisingly, when workers are happy in their work environment, they tend to be more engaged, more creative and more productive which has a knock-on effect for businesses – not only in terms of productivity but also on talent retention. A report by Oxford Economics says the average cost of replacing a member of staff is £30,000 and, according to Glint, disengaged employees are 12 times more likely to leave their job than a highly engaged one.
How Much of My Day Should I Stand For?
According to Active Working, metabolism slows down by 90% after you have been sitting down for 30 minutes. After two hours, the ‘good’ cholesterol drops by 20%. Different sources offer workers different advice, varying from the extreme of standing for 45 minutes out of every hour to standing for five minutes when you can. Public Health England recommends that employees use a sit-stand desk, suggesting that those new to standing desks begin by standing for two hours per day, and keep increasing the amount over time until they’re standing for four hours per day.
Standing for 15 minutes per hour will increase weight loss and improve mental health. It will burn 20,000 more calories per year* – the equivalent of six full marathons – and make employees healthier, happier and more productive.
Is There a Maximum Time I Should Stay Standing?
As well as a maximum recommended time sitting, there is also a maximum amount of time employees should stand. An expert in Physiotherapy from Australia’s Curtin University found that although problem-solving abilities were increased in working adults after two hours, mental reaction time decreased. Standing for too long also led to physical effects – 47% of participants reported an increase in physical discomfort, particularly in the lower back and lower limbs. Many experts agree that standing for five hours is not good for you and it could lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
A stand-up desk offers a smart and seamless way for employers to offer their team the best of both worlds – standing desk benefits with the respite of sitting when required.
Standing Desks: How Can They Benefit You?
Is there anything you have always wondered about sit-stand desks? This is your opportunity to ask. Please send any questions you have to @_Staverton_ on Twitter or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer them in a future post.
*Sources: National Center for Biotechnology Information, The Council for Health and Disease Prevention, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology