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Should you sit or stand to work? – HF Planners

Posted on: May 9 2016

Should you sit or stand to work?

Facilities Management NJ - EANJ - HF PlannersThe sit-stand revolution is all the rage. Companies across America are getting more and more requests for desks that have “sit-stand technology.” Sit-stand technology gives the worker the ability to raise or lower their desk to sitting or standing height depending on their preference. The question is; is there a health benefit, and should your company consider offering it?

Researchers found that sitting for lengthy periods of time has proven to be unhealthy, causing conditions like blood clots, diabetes, and heart disease over time. As soon as you sit down, muscles contract, calorie burning slows, and heart rate decreases. The general idea behind sit-stand desks is that the employee spends more time standing, therefore, expending more energy during the day. One strategy to consider to reduce the amount of time spent sitting is to place printers in locations where employees must leave their desk to retrieve documents. Another strategy is to utilize treadmill desks. However, treadmill desks bring their own hazards with the concept of doing two things at the same time, which requires the utmost focus on the task of working and walking without tripping!

There are different ways to add the sit-stand option to existing offices. An option to consider is to replace the existing desk with a new one. There are various models available ranging from electronic raising and lowering capabilities, pre-set capacities for multiple users at one location, hydraulic switching for manual raising or lowering, and a manual crank (which realistically will be used the first week but after that for the employee to exert energy to raise and lower the surface will lose its appeal quickly and the desk will remain in the “seated” position.) There are also options that allow the existing desk to be used with a platform that gets added on top. This platform is raised or lowered as needed. If adding a platform, various functions need to be considered to determine the best solution, such as multiple monitor use, an area for paperwork, keyboard, and mouse.

While research has discovered that there is not a lot of evidence that there is longterm health benefits by using sit-stand technology (March 2016 the Cochrane Library) it is agreed that by counteracting the side effects of sitting for lengthy periods of time does have beneficial effects. Another alternative is to set an hourly timer to remind yourself to get up and move. Walking or standing for 10 minutes every hour may help counteract the harmful side effects of long term sitting like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

In the long run, if you feel more productive and fit by using a sit-stand work environment, then cheers to your health!

Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED-AP+BD-C
HF Planners, LLC
10 Johnson Drive Raritan, NJ 08869
Phone: 908-393-9984 x 301
cshelly@hfplanners.com