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Studies Explain Why Sitting is the New Smoking
As more workers begin sedentary jobs, the amount of sitting involved has become the norm. But when offices incorporate sit-stand desks, employees are healthier, happier, and more productive. As more studies are published, we’re beginning to see others saying what we’ve been saying for a while, sitting is the new smoking.
There are a number of health concerns associated with long periods of sitting. The numbers are almost shocking, especially since so many are required to be at a desk for work. These health risks include obesity and metabolic syndrome, which includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
One study found that those who spent more time in front of a TV have a nearly 50% increased risk of death (from any cause) and a nearly 125% increased risk for cardiovascular-related conditions. It’s important to note that even if we exercise regularly, sitting can still affect us. The lack of activity nearly negates a morning at the gym.
This certainly seems a bit scary, but it’s possible to change these predictions. Utilizing a sit-stand desk means you can vary your work setup, helping to decrease the risks.
The author of another study notes that it’s important to slowly work up to standing for extended periods of time. It’s highly unlikely you would run a marathon without training, and standing all day at work is the same idea. This means incorporating shorter periods of standing before working up to standing for most of your day with shorter periods of sitting.
A pilot study published in Preventative Medicine Reports showed that those using standing desks were more likely to feel satisfied and have more energy. By monitoring call center employees, this pilot study was able to prove an increase in energy throughout the day, due to their increase in activity.
There is also a mental effect of sitting for extended periods of time. When we feel sluggish, we’ll avoid moving and eat poorly, which can affect our happiness. But when we feel energized, our mood is overall improved and we’re willing to tackle new projects.
Becoming happier may seem hard to quantify, but this study shows that it’s possible to link happiness with movement in the office.
Choosing a standing desk can also make a significant improvement in your productivity. When you’re more productive, you won’t only accomplish more, but you’ll also be happier at the end of each day. Have you ever noticed how good increased productivity makes you feel?
Standing desks may seem like a trendy office addition, but Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health’s study has shown that standing desks improve workers’ health and productivity.
The study tracked employees in a call center for six months, and at the end of that period they found that their productivity improved by almost double over their coworkers sitting at traditional desks.
These results may seem surprising, but well-sourced data doesn’t lie. We need to consider the impact this information has on office environments.
Because of the risks of sitting all day, every day, it’s important to consider ways to break up your day. Sit-stand desks offer the benefits of standing desks while also giving employees the choice to sit for breaks throughout the day. By adding in periods of standing, walking, and stretching, employees are able to remain healthy, energized, and productive.Topics: Office, Open Office