Should we be standing instead?

White Stackable Dining Table Chair from IkeaSpending our work day sitting down at a desk is not good for our health in the short and long run. People regularly report tiredness and a loss of energy mid-afternoon, and long hours sitting also increase the risk of weight gain and obesity. In the long run the effects of prolonged sitting are more sinister, with studies showing a clear correlation between six or more hours spent sitting down and an earlier death rate (in both men and women). What’s a sitting worker bee to do?

Enter the standing desk – as its name suggests, a standing desk is a higher work station where workers stand or sit on a high stool. Adopters confess it does take a little getting used to, and they had to overcome the initial distraction of trying to maintain correct posture at all times. But overall, the standing desk seems to win – workers report constant levels of energy throughout the day and most say they could not go back to a traditional sitting desk.

We’ve never tried a standing desk but the health implications are serious enough to consider experimenting. Facebook offices are even already working on the next thing: a treadmill station where employees can work while walking or running… For those of us not fortunate enough to have a treadmill station, the same rules that apply to long flights apply to a day spent sitting down: get up every hour, walk around, and stretch. If you can, go for a brisk short walk around lunchtime or mid afternoon and you will feel re-energised.

For more on standing desks, see this article from the Wall Street Journal.

Would you try a standing desk? If you work long hours, what are some tricks you employ to keep your energy up throughout the day?

(Image credit: the Ikea catalogue!)