In a world where sedentary lifestyles have become the norm, from TV marathons to desk-bound workdays, the impact of excessive sitting cannot be underestimated. This issue is particularly pronounced for those immersed in the Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 desk job routine. However, the human body isn't designed for prolonged sitting…
Here are 5 reasons why you and your team should be standing more in the office.
1. Standing is proven to improve physical health
Sitting for prolonged periods has been linked to a range of health concerns, spanning from obesity to cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal problems. On the other hand, embracing standing, particularly through the use of height adjustable desks, offers an array of benefits, from encouraging better posture and engaging core muscles to promote blood circulation, all of which contribute to improved overall physical well-being.
Standing also offers a pathway to toned muscles and enhanced posture. Standing requires the activation of a variety of muscle groups, including those in your core, legs, ankles, and feet. This natural engagement fosters muscle strength and stability, particularly beneficial for sustaining a healthy posture and averting injuries.
Another notable advantage of integrating standing into your routine, is its potential to alleviate back pain, a prevalent complaint among UK workers. Shockingly, 4 out of 5 adults in the UK have experienced back pain at some point. However, studies provide a solution – incorporating intermittent standing breaks facilitated by standing desks into your daily regimen has been shown to significantly mitigate the risk of back pain. A substantial 54% of workers, as reported by juststand.org, noticed a reduction in upper back and neck pain with decreased sitting time.
Moreover, standing constitutes a weight-bearing activity that bolsters bone health. As your bones bear your body's weight, this practice contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of bone density over time, fortifying your bones and safeguarding against issues like osteoporosis. In essence, standing acts as a multifaceted catalyst for improved health, offering a foundation for enhanced posture, reduced pain, and fortified bone structure.
2. Standing promotes better mental health
The relationship between sitting and mental health is a pressing concern, as studies have associated prolonged sitting with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Luckily, studies have been able to attribute standing to increased levels of mood and energy levels. In 2018, a study revealed that the Stand More At Work initiative in Britain not only led to a reduction in employees' sitting time but also resulted in heightened work engagement and a notable decrease in overall anxiety levels.
The link between sitting duration and mental health risks is evident, with prolonged sitting for six or more hours during the workday increasing susceptibility to anxiety and depression. The antidote lies in muscle engagement, which triggers the brain's release of mood-enhancing chemicals through increased blood and oxygen flow. The cognitive benefits of standing are further underscored by improved cerebral nourishment due to enhanced blood flow, cementing the connection between physical posture and mental well-being. In the balance between sitting and standing, the evidence is clear: standing offers a proactive approach to cultivating positive mood states and bolstering cognitive resilience.
3. Standing fosters greater team collaboration
Standing in the office not only contributes to improved mood but also better collaboration, particularly within open-plan workspaces. Standing invites spontaneous conversations and interactions among colleagues, breaking down barriers that might exist when confined to chairs. This improved social exchange nurtures a sense of community, bolstering teamwork and camaraderie in the workplace.
Standing during meetings and group sessions also offers a less formal and intimidating environment compared to traditional seated gatherings. This informality paves the way for candid discussions, establishing a shared purpose and a stronger bond among team members. The absence of seating hierarchies levels the playing field, fostering an atmosphere of equality that encourages active participation from all individuals, irrespective of their roles or titles.
Furthermore, the heightened energy levels associated with standing result in more engaged and alert participants during collaborative endeavours. This increased attentiveness translates to more innovative and thoughtful contributions, enhancing the overall quality of collaborative work.
4. Standing boosts focus and productivity
Remarkably, a significant 71% of employees reported heightened focus upon reducing their sitting time by merely one hour. Embracing a standing posture while on the job not only enhances mental alertness but also yields amplified productivity and improved concentration.
By introducing the option to stand, employees gain the flexibility to alternate between sitting and standing, injecting diversity into their daily work routine. This transition not only staves off monotony but also sustains higher engagement levels throughout the workday. Natural movement and postural shifts made possible by standing play a pivotal role. These movements counter physical discomfort and restlessness, redirecting employees' attention toward the discussion rather than their discomfort.
5. Standing creates a creative and energetic environment
Standing while brainstorming or working on creative tasks might unlock fresh perspectives and novel concepts. By introducing movement and varying postures, you can foster increased blood flow that might in turn bolster cognitive function, including creativity.
The inclusion of movement has consistently proven to be a catalyst for augmenting employee enthusiasm and job satisfaction. Though it may seem basic, standing offers an often overlooked solution, boosting alertness and providing a natural energy boost. Taking short activity breaks every hour has been shown to increase energy levels significantly. This is supported by a remarkable 87% of employees who experienced increased energy levels after using a standing desk
You may now be a convert to the ways of standing at work - welcome! But the question now is how do we incorporate more standing in our day?
One of the easiest ways to make a switch in your office today is with height adjustable desks. They’re incredibly useful as they allow you to switch between sitting and standing positions with ease.
When working with others, instead of sitting in a conference room, you could opt for standing or walking meetings. This encourages movement and can lead to more dynamic discussions.
Take phone calls while standing or walking around. This not only keeps you active but also helps to make the conversation more engaging. If you want to keep your calls confidential or to create a quieter office setting, phone booths offer a quick escape from ambient noise with acoustic privacy.
Finally, make your space work for busy office life. Furniture can be used to create agile, flexible workspaces that can be quickly and cost-effectively reconfigured to meet the changing demands of businesses.
Ready to improve productivity in your workspace and create a more inviting atmosphere? Contact us here or give us a call today - 020 3916 5005