Please Remain Standing
Sitting comfortably? If so, now might be the time to stand up. In fact, move about a bit and stretch those legs as you read. Don’t sit still because this topic is guaranteed to give you the urge to move about. In the time it takes to read this article, embrace it; flex those muscles and move those joints.
I have to confess up front, I like sitting. It may be that that’s because I have to spend a lot of time moving about visiting clients and various sites so the time I spend at my desk, sitting on my own chair, can be a luxury in itself. I enjoy this time and look kindly on my trusted office chair.
As a consequence, my love of sitting at my desk drives me to put a lot of time and effort into sourcing the right chairs for clients and making sure that the comfort levels, along with the aesthetics of the piece, are just right. The comfort of your chair is after all critical to your level of concentration and will impact on how well you do your job.
There’s been a lot in the media about the health benefits of standing as oppose to sitting. There’s been the good stats and ‘softer’ advice along with the fear-inducing, sudden panic stuff.
For instance, did you know that men who sit six hours or more a day have an overall death rate that’s 20 per cent higher than that of those men who sit for three hours or less? In women, it’s 40 per cent.
Obviously, your risk of obesity grows with the sitting too but then so does your risk of obesity’s associated illnesses like diabetes and some cancers. You can see why standing is becoming the new sitting for many office workers.
It has been suggested in the media that office workers should spend a minimum of two hours on their feet with the aim of building on this. The reports followed a study, co-commissioned by Public Health England, that provided targets for office workers to prevent the ill-effects of sitting for too long.
There’s been much talk since of sit-stand desks and standing-based work alongside the usual common sense suggestions to counter any sort of sedentary life style. (Yes, you’ve guessed it. It really does boil down to moving about a bit more). Anything to do with health and well-being comes with a large dollop of common sense and, as the festive season looms, it’s time to embrace some of those practical pointers – particularly with all the consumable, rich treats and alcohol that come with the glad tidings.
If you’ve been sitting at your computer for more than an hour or two, get up and move around. Go and grab a coffee, use the facilities and check in with your colleagues. If there is somebody on another floor that you need to email, go and verbally convey the message and, while you’re at it, take the stairs.
The sit stand desk is certainly an option but it is costly to introduce for everyone and is, at this point in product development, a costlier choice than the traditional alternative. If you are mainly office-based and find yourself spending hours at a time behind your desk, don’t wait for a refit or for HR to ride in with a quota for sit stand desks to share out. Take responsibility for your own well being and do what’s free and within your control; Get up and move about.
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