Sit-Stand Desks: Are They Worth It?
Increasingly, we are sitting down for sustained periods of time; whether at our desks at work or watching television at home, Britons sit on average for 8.9 hours each day. While this may be the norm for most, experts – including professionals within the NHS – have warned of the health risks associated with living a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, sit-stand desks, desks that can be adjusted to different heights, have become the latest trend for offices looking to improve the health of their employees, but what implications do these desks have for Facilities Managers?
Cost is an obvious consideration as sit stand desks represent a considerably higher initial investment than a traditional static desk. These desks also require maintenance as there are moving parts and often electric motors.
Are these desks to be provided to everyone, or just in dedicated areas? Are cleaners responsible for returning these desks to the same height every night for aesthetics and if so, what impact will that have on their productivity?
What happens if someone spills a glass of water over the desk’s motor? do they need to be PAT tested?
These are all important considerations to those exploring sit-stand desks.
While recent research has highlighted the health benefits of alternating between standing up and sitting down throughout the day, standing desks (in their most primitive sense) have been around for centuries. Nevertheless, since our professional cleaners in London are all about ensuring your office is as healthy and clean as can be, we thought we’d investigate for ourselves and find out just how great an impact they can make in the workplace! Take a look at our findings below and don’t forget to share your thoughts.
- What Is The “Get Britain Standing Campaign?”
- The Health Risks Associated With Sitting Down That Shocked Experts
- What Can We Do To Improve Our Health?
- Julius Rutherfoord’s Professional Cleaners In London: Committed To Healthy Living
What Is The “Get Britain Standing Campaign”?
In 2013, director of Active Working and the man behind the “Get Britain Standing” campaign, Gavin Bradley, visited a charity in Gothenburg, Sweden, and became curious as to why all the staff had ‘sit-stand desks’. Sit-stand desks are desks that have a built-in mechanism – manual or electrical – to enable users to adjust their height, giving them the option to either sit down or stand up while they work, hence the name.
In stark comparison to workplaces in the UK, which rely almost entirely on “ordinary” sit-down desks, he found that 90% of all Scandinavian offices have access to adjustable desks. Puzzled as to why this may be, he decided to examine the research on offer and found some remarkable evidence that conflicted with the UK’s sit-down working culture.
Research co-commissioned by Public Health England and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealsthat those who sit for prolonged periods of time throughout the day are at a heightened risk of developing serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Since office workers spend on average 5 hours 41 minutes sat at their desks a day, Bradley decided that enough was enough, and the campaign to get Britain off of their feet and moving was born!
The Health Risks Associated With Sitting Down That Shocked Experts
According to research, the vast majority of us are sat down for far too long each day. Office workers are a particular cause for concern, spending around 65% – 75% of their working hours sitting, which increases as soon as they sit down at home! While there’s no immediate cause for concern, there is increasing evidence that shows we’re putting our health at risk by doing so.
Whether in a meeting at work, taking a train or readingat home,a sedentary lifestyle – whereby we’re sat down for much of the time – is contrary to our biological needs. Not only have experts linked excessive sitting with obesity, type 2 diabetes, premature death and cancer incidence (which is worrying enough!), they’ve also brought to light the detrimental effects that prolonged periods of sitting down can have on the productivity and wellbeing of your workforce, too.
Since standing up improves our blood circulation and consequently makes us more alert and energetic, our ability to perform tasks is significantly enhanced, making us more productive. Since sit-stand desks give workers the opportunity to stand up during the day, they are increasingly being looked at as a possible means to keep office workers healthier, happier and more productive – something Julius Rutherfoord,professional cleaners in Londonand winners of the Healthy Workplace Award, work to achieve, as well asproviding the highest standards of cleanliness throughout your establishment.
It’s worth noting that there are disadvantages to standing up all day too, so it’s important that an office environment allows for both sitting and standing, not just one or the other!
What Can We Do To Improve Our Health?
Fortunately, if you find you sit down for long periods of time throughout the day (which, unfortunately, most of us will find is true), there are ways you can adjust your lifestyle and improve your health.
Sit-stand desks give office workers the opportunity to alternate between standing up and sitting down in their workplaces, but even by just breaking up sitting down time throughout working hours by taking every opportunity to stand we can mitigate the apparent health risks. For example, we can:
- Stand while taking calls
- Swap an email or call to a coworker in the same office and walk to their desk instead
- Choose to stand on public transport while commuting to work
- Use tea and lunch breaks as an opportunity to stretch your legs – it’s worth noting that eating away from your desk is also much more hygienic too!
- Instead of a choosing to watch TV, read or another sedentary hobby when you’re not in the office, choose more active hobbies. You’ll feel much better for it!
Julius Rutherfoord’s Professional Cleaners In London: Committed To Healthy Living
Here at Julius Rutherfoord, we have over two decades of experience delivering exceptional cleaning solutions and other maintenance services for commercial, educational and other establishments. Our professional cleaners in London are extensively trained in our BICSc accredited Training Academy to ensure that they meet our impeccably high standards.
If you would like further information about our services or how we can help your establishment, contact us on 020 7819 6700 today, or email our knowledgeable customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.