Sitting at a desk for hours on end has never been considered conducive to healthy working, but what is the alternative?
Well according to CIS Products, UK employees could benefit from standing desks and anti-fatigue mats.
Working days are getting longer and breaks are getting shorter. Sitting down for hours without much movement can have a negative effect on health. It can lead to cardiovascular issues as well as diabetes. A British study undertaken in 1953 revealed that sitting continuously could contribute to health problems and more recent research from 2011 demonstrated that a 112 per cent increase resulted in the risk of diabetes and a 147 per cent increase in cardiovascular events were apparent between the shortest and longest sedentary periods.
So is it time for employers to start considering alternatives? In Scandinavia, sit-stand desks are commonplace, with more than 90 per cent of PC-using office personnel making use of them. The benefits are said to be manifold.
The Benefits of Sit-Stand Desks
Sit-stand desks offer flexibility. Employees can choose their preferred working posture depending on how they are feeling at the time. They can divide their working hours between sitting and standing, without risking injury or ill health through poor posture because their PC and documents are equally and perfectly accessible however they decide to work.
The good thing about sit-stand desks is that they do not cover any more of any area than regular desks. They provide employers with the opportunity to promote healthier working practices, and a healthier workforce means reduced sickness absence and boosted productivity.
Employers can choose from electric, gas lift or manual crank desks depending on budget and preference.
Employee Sit-Stand Education
It should be considered that standing for long periods of time is probably just as unhealthy as sitting and could lead to issues such as back, neck and hip pain as well as swollen legs and vein problems due to pressures on the circulatory system. A balance is ideal, and this should be promoted through employee education.
Employees should therefore be advised to vary their sitting and standing periods as well as taking regular breaks away from their workstations and using a standing desk mat.
Standing Desk Mats
Standing desk mats have built-in anti-fatigue properties. They are made from high-density foam designed to support and cushion the user and encourage regular movement of the feet. Such movement helps activate the pumping of the veins which in turn boosts blood flow and alleviates the pain normally associated with standing for long periods.
If you are considering ways of boosting employee health and comfort, it’s well worth having a look at sit-stand desks.