Global medical studies have enlightened us on the detrimental health risks of sitting disease (sitting too much and for too long). Motivated by the mounting—and increasingly disturbing—medical evidence that links excessive sitting to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and other serious health problems, there is a growing ‘uprising’ trend in offices across the country. Everyday more and more workers are looking to trade in their traditional desk chairs for standing desks and workstations.
What’s more, the American Medical Association has adopted a new policy regarding sitting at work and physicians are now urging employers to offer alternatives to sitting, such as standing work stations, isometric balls, and more to encourage healthier movement throughout the workday.
While employee health is certainly enough of a reason to adopt new, more flexible workstations, there is also the added bonus of increased productivity when employees have the option to stand more and sit less.
According to our recent survey of more than 1,000 full-time workers, 85 percent of people admit to taking breaks for symptom relief from the discomfort associated with sitting while working and that many respondents find excuses to get up out of their chair during the day including:
- Going to the bathroom – 92 percent
- Getting a drink – 80 percent
- Stretching – 64 percent
- Going to the printer – 61 percent
- Getting food – 56 percent
These breaks, while necessary for employee comfort and health, tend to disrupt workflow, focus and impact personal and corporate productivity. Much of this can be avoided by offering seating alternatives. In fact, ergonomics research over the past 20 years has consistently shown that adjustable workstations can result in an 18% productivity increase.
Standing may be the simplest and easiest way to reverse the ill effects of excessive sitting, with the added bonus of increased focus and attentiveness, improved energy levels and enhanced mood states—all key factors in improved performance and productivity.