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Are standing desks good for you?

In an ideal world our daily lives would involve a comfortable balance of sitting, standing and moving. But technology has fundamentally changed the way most of us work, making this increasingly difficult to achieve.

Studies describing the detrimental effects that a sedentary lifestyle has on the human body, have led some media outlets to ask, ‘Is sitting the new smoking?’, listing countless dangers of regular, uninterrupted sitting. Others – who are perhaps slightly less hysterical – describe increased occupational sitting as part of the wider problem of inactivity in our society. But at both ends of the camp there is the general agreement that being overly dormant increases a human’s risk of mortality.

So is standing better for you?

In February 2018, Ergonomics journal published the findings of a study by Baker et al. that goes some way to answering our question ‘are standing desks harmful?’. By observing 20 individuals in a laboratory environment, scientists assessed physical and mental effects of prolonged standing while working.

The paper, A detailed description of the short-term musculoskeletal and cognitive effects of prolonged standing for office computer work, concludes that:

The study found acute negative health effects during 2 h of prolonged standing including increases in discomfort in the low back, lower and upper limbs (to varying degrees) and lower limb swelling.

Although it sounds ominous, the study had many limitations and as the authors’ suggested, their findings only go so far. There continues to be a gap in the scientific understanding of the effects of prolonged standing in an office environment. But the research won’t stop there. Our new working environments are of great interest to Ergonomics experts, who bring together several scientific disciplines with the aim of improving how humans interact with technology.

For now, there’s no cure to our occupational inactivity. So, if you’re a business owner or Facilities Manager, how do you best plan for your team’s changing needs?

The height-adjustable desk – an affordable compromise

Whereas a standing desk is fixed at a certain height, a sit stand desk allows the user to adjust their work station as required (or recommended). There are many types of adjustable height desk and it’s important to choose something that works with your existing office environment.

You want something that works

Manual lifting controls can be time-consuming, and labour-intensive – who wants to crank up their desk to answer an email? But there are more intelligent systems like Climb– that move at a touch of a button, and remember your previous settings – that are more affordable than you might expect.

But you also want something attractive

Sit stand desking doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb, you can easily find a desk that fits in with your existing or new colour-scheme and style. Climb comes in a variety of colours and finishes and our team will work with you to create something beautiful as well as functional. We recognise that every client is different.

In conclusion, sit stand desks are the perfect office innovation, allowing you to adjust your entire environment to fit your team’s shifting needs, whether your staff are stationary or hot-desking. If you want to future-proof your business, get in touch to speak to an expert about Climb – our range of flexible and attractive sit stand desk solutions.