Did you know that health experts now recommend standing up to work rather than sitting down? It sounds a bit kooky but when you consider you’ll burn 480 calories a day without so much as a diet shake, it’s not nearly as silly as it sounds.
It’s not just the muffins in the tearoom making that muffin-top overhanging your pants. The evidence is mounting to link our sedentary workplaces and lifestyles with our growing waistlines. In fact the latest reports show that sitting for more than an hour actually shuts off our fat-burning enzymes!
As a nation of couch potatoes spending 80% of every day on our bottoms it’s time for Australian office workers to take a stand. Here’s our guide to improving health and wellbeing in your office with sit-stand desks:
Australian office workers sit at their desks for an average of 6.3 hours/day and health experts say that sitting for long periods of time like this actually switches off our metabolism! Even hitting the gym after work isn’t enough to combat the effects of sitting all day (reference). So sitting is making us fatter and Australia’s obesity epidemic already costs us $3.6 billion in lost workplace productivity, making it a no-brainer that we need to change the way we work. The cost might be a financial one for your boss, but ultimately you’ll pay with your health and weight.
The recommendation is simply to sit less and stand more, ideally getting out of the chair at least once an hour. But how can we do that when our job calls for us to be stuck at a desk all day? That’s the beauty of sit-stand desks – the new revolution sweeping the office world. You get to decide which position to work in and when. You’ll probably find it easiest to sit when you need to concentrate, while standing is perfect for the simpler stuff like emailing and reading.
With the demand for sit-stand desks increasing there’s a growing variety of styles for all budgets. You can choose from affordable basic models all the way up to the luxury versions with a built-in touchscreen to preset your heights and a subtle reminder nudge to change positions.
Sit-stand desk users find the biggest challenge comes when the novelty wears off, usually about a month in, with 70% returning to a fixed sitting position. You may feel a bit awkward standing up when others are seated, so you need to make a firm commitment and stick to it.
Now you’re thinking about all those other health commitments you haven’t been able to stick to, but like the wonder of the Fitbit, feeble willpower is no excuse thanks to the awesomeness of tech! Choosing an electric push button model will make it easy to convert positions and motivate you to make it part of your daily routine.
Changing the culture of your workplace will also make a difference – getting sit-stand desks for everyone will normalise the concept and lead to better health and productivity for your whole office.
And best of all you’ll be burning calories! According to the Mayo Clinic’s James Levine, standing triggers your body to breakdown fats and sugars leading to weight loss! Imagine burning the same amount of calories each day as a half-hour High Intensity Interval Training session without the sweat!
Health Risks associated with Prolonged Sitting for Office Workers:
Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
So the bottomline is that a sit-stand desk is better for your bottomline!