Happiness & Wellbeing | Productivity at work

Are Sit And Stand Desks Actually Worth It?

By wizu | 30 September 2021

The sit and stand desk was once considered a bit of a rare item. This type of workspace was seen as something more for people who had certain health issues such as back problems. However, times have definitely changed!

These days, the sit and stand desk is seen as part of the growing wellness movement in the workplace. This fact is due to studies that have shown sedentary desks can be hazardous to human health.

We’ll take a look at how the sit and stand desk has developed over time, as well as the benefits that come with using this type of workstation.


Historical Figures Used Sit and Stand Desks

Not many realise that some quite famous historical figures have used the sit and stand desk. These include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Ernest Hemingway. Each of them experienced the benefits of working at tall tables or desks.

So, the sit and stand desk has been around for quite some time. However, it’s only in the last couple of years that they’ve become more popular.


Sit and Stand Desks Had a Slow Start

In the beginning, sit and stand desks were really only for the realm of the elite executives. These desks were thought to be somewhat eccentric and somewhat unique. The workstations were mostly used by top executives and those who had severe back problems. What’s more, the desks were rare and quite expensive back in the day.

As the awareness and importance of employee wellness have grown, many companies have seen the benefits of choosing to sit and stand workstations for their employees. This has led to prices for these workstations coming down to earth, so to speak. The workstations are now quite common, with prices that are affordable for most companies and even for home use.

In addition to more affordable prices for sit and stand desks, office design has also driven the change from the sedentary desk to the sit and stand workstations. Many businesses are choosing to go with flexible office spaces, which allow employees to move around and work in different spaces throughout the day. Sit and stand desks are a great fit for this type of office layout.

This further led furniture manufacturers to begin developing and producing various types of sit and stand desks. More of their clients were interested in these types of workstations. This has also worked to make sit and stand desks more affordable, even for those on a smaller budget.


What are the Benefits of Sit and Stand Desks?

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the main benefits of the sit and stand workstations.

Sit and Stand Desks Improve Posture & Decrease Back Pain

Much like the first elite execs who turned to sit and stand desks for back trouble, research has caught up with the truth. Sit and stand desks do help improve posture and decrease back pain!

When people spend hours and hours a day sitting, even using ergonomic furniture, it can cause problems with the back. For instance, too much sitting can put pressure on the disks in the back. This can lead to increased pressure on certain nerves and more. These are facts borne out by many studies over the years.

Sit and stand desks work to fix these issues. Standing is actually great for the back and posture. When standing tall, for instance, it’s almost impossible to slump. Muscles become stronger, which can add core support to standing, and so on. You see where this is going.

The key, however, is to ensure the sit and stand desk is set up correctly for each employee. Their screen should sit just above eye level, and they should not have to slump over the desk to reach it for working.


Sit and Stand Desks Reduce Risk of Obesity

It’s a fact that sitting for too long every day can slow metabolism and the digestive tract. The body is compressed when sitting, which keeps the body from working efficiently. When you stand, on the other hand, the body is free to move and work as it should.

With the growing problem of obesity in the world, studies have even shown that sit and stand desks can have a beneficial effect on reducing the risk of obesity.

For instance, one study done by the Mayo Clinic had a group of office workers increase their daily caloric intake by 1000 calories. That’s quite a lot of calories! It works out to either a Big Mac meal or about five pints of beer. Researchers asked the workers not to alter their exercise habits. In the end, the results were those who moved around more during the day or who worked standing did not gain much weight.

The researchers concluded that standing is best, especially when combined with walking. What’s more, they recommended that sedentary workers need to walk more to keep obesity at bay.


Sit and Stand Desks Make People Move

As the study in the last section showed, people who work at a sit and stand workstation tend to move around more. This is a huge benefit to their health. Experts currently recommend that everyone spend at least two hours a day standing or at least be away from our desks. And they further recommend that this time be increased up to four hours a day.

Increased movement does more than help the back and lower the risk of obesity. It also works to improve overall mood. This is an often-overlooked fact when it comes to sit and stand desks. But movement is essential to humans.

We’re not made to sit in one place for hours. Remember, our very early ancestors were nomadic. They had to move around to find enough food. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that movement is essential to our wellbeing.

Studies have found that when we move around more, we feel less tired, depressed, or tense. Instead, we feel more energised, happy, and focused. That’s a huge difference!


Concluding Thoughts

Sit and stand desks definitely bring many benefits to the office, especially those that offer a flexible office layout. Employees who can move around and not have to sit all day are happier, more productive, and focused on their work. These are facts no one can deny.

So, if your business is looking for a way to increase productivity and improve employee wellness at the same time, why not consider adding sit and stand desks to your workplace?

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