At Officescape we are continually looking for contemporary and innovative solutions with each office fit out. There are several common office issues that are often discussed and even researched; for example, take the whole sitting versus standing debate. Standing desks have began to be utilised throughout many office environments worldwide with the belief that they help to promote a healthier work environment, based on extensive research in the field.

Recent research from the University of Exeter and University College London contradicts the long held belief that sitting for extended periods of time increases the risk of dying.  The current findings challenge the idea that the actual act of sitting can lead to harm, even when the individual partakes in regular exercise.

A Little Misleading

The newspaper headlines of stating that sitting isn’t as bad as previously thought may be a little misleading in that both standing and sitting desks can have little impact on the general health of the individual if the person isn’t partaking in any form of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For example, Dr Melvyn Hillsdon of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter states, “Policymakers should be cautious in recommending a reduction in the time spent sitting without also promoting increased physical activity. Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself. Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing.”

Stationary Posture Can Be Detrimental

The last sentence here is perhaps the most key aspect. Assuming that simply standing or sitting can have major health implications may be a little hopeful, particularly if the individual doesn’t have a generally healthy lifestyle. It could be argued that it’s a little unfair to criticize standing desks, particularly as they promote a greater ease of movement than sitting, and also that they are often used in conjunction with sitting; hence them being adjustable.

Either way, the good that can be sourced from the study is the idea of promoting a healthier lifestyle. The notion that someone would simply sit or stand at work and expect to combat heart disease or diabetes is perhaps lacking a little in commonsense, so at least the study serves to tackle this mindset.

It’s important to consider your office layout and environment, for the sake of both productivity and of course your workers’ wellbeing. Our team of friendly office designers are always on hand should you need advice or guidance, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us on 01553 811 833, where we will be awaiting your call.

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