As we head further into the 21st century, work isn’t simply a place to ‘just work’, there is now an increased focus on how work impacts both our mental and physical health.
In an ever-evolving consumerist and more mindful society—work at a basic level is no longer good enough for many people. Today’s workers require spaces that encourage productivity while carefully considering health and cleverly utilizing multi-functionality.
With the average person spending 37.2 hours a week at work, it’s no surprise more conversations are beginning to happen around our work health. The NHS and key healthcare figures now accept that sitting is becoming the new smoking; this is putting particular emphasis on the impact of sitting at a desk.
The NHS’ title page surrounding this issue is: ‘Why We Should Sit Less’, and within the first paragraph they state with alarm that, “excessive sitting can lead to type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer”. Aside from the physical health complications sitting can cause, we should look closer to home when it comes to the advantages of sitting less. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine; states that it is best practice for all workers to get up from their desk every 30 minutes. However, this is easier said than done as we are the social beings and very susceptible to distractions and loss of focus.
“Breaking up sitting time engages your muscles and bones, and gives all our bodily functions a boost- a bit like revving a car’s engine,” says Professor Dunstan.
The use of standing desks help to address both of these issues; it allows us to get up and refresh ourselves, without having to wander off and interfere with our work. Instead of pacing back and forth to the kitchen for a coffee or tea break, or wandering outside to ‘get some fresh air’, a sit-stand desk allows you to reinvigorate your concentration level intermittently throughout the day.
It is important to note that standing at a desk requires the same amount of consideration to posture as sitting does. It’s not rocket science, we’ve simplified it into six steps so you know what to do when you finally make the move!
6 WAYS TO ENSURE YOUR WORKPLACE IS HEALTHY:
- Set your standing desk at elbow height, this means your elbows should be in a 90 degree position to the floor.
- As a guide your computer screen should be roughly somewhere between 50-60 cm away from your face,.
- As a general rule of thumb, your eyes should sit at the top of your computer screen with an upward tilt, you should never tilt or stretch your neck.
- If you’re on a laptop try and align your keyboard with your elbow height.
- Stand as if you’re being pulled by a piece of string, from the top of your head.
- Don’t stand on one leg, keep both feet engaged and flat to the floor.