It’s Time To Make A Stand: Sitting At Work Is Unhealthy & Hinders Productivity
Offices could look very different in the near future after health and fitness experts have advised people to spend much more of their working day stood up and moving around.
According to research, sitting down at work all day every day for the majority of your career can be as detrimental to your health as smoking, whereas standing for just 3 hours per day can benefit you greatly by burning off up to 12lbs of fat per year.
In our everyday lives, we sit down at work, sit down on our travels, sit down to eat and sit down to watch television in the evenings. It isn’t natural and it isn’t healthy: sitting down for long periods is proven to slow down our metabolic rates. Standing up for just a few hours a day, however, can reduce obesity and improve circulation, so it can benefit employees who are able to lead healthier lifestyles and be more productive thus making employers happier too.
A study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in the U.S. sampled more than 3,000 government workers and found that respondents who sat for lengthy periods (e.g. 6 hours or more) without getting up and moving around periodically suffered more psychological distress and had more trouble dealing with day-to-day operations than those who sat for shorter periods (e.g. 3 hours) and had the opportunity to get up and move around more.
If you think exercising outside of work is enough to counter the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, you’re wrong. According to the experts, one couldn’t physically do enough, nor have the time to do the amount required to make up for all the sitting they do throughout the week. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do any, but it’s a pretty damning assertion.
With these types of findings being published, the dangers of sedentary lifestyles is seeping into public consciousness more and more, meaning employers are beginning to transform their workplace environments.
Standing stations and convertible desks at work are recognised as the way forward for happier, healthier and more productive workforces, so you can expect the landscape of offices to look drastically different in the next 5-10 years.
Group workspaces and breakout areas will of course still feature soft seating and meeting pods, but individual workstations will evolve to offer greater flexibility.
Is your office prepared for change?