A New and Better Way to Work: Sit Less, Move More

Furniture Productivity

Every day I see dozens of articles and blog posts extolling the greatness of Sit to Stand desks and height-adjustable tables, but I rarely come across any that actually delve into why they are poised to play such a crucial role in offices.  It really boils down to this, no amount of exercise or physical activity will cancel out the negative impact of prolonged periods spent in a sedentary position.  While it is certainly good for your health to go for that 30-minute walk, jog or bike ride after work, the medical consensus is now that it won’t “undo” a day spent sitting (or standing) in one stationary position.

It is recommended that you stand for approximately 10-15 minutes for every hour you spend in the office. By doing this, you actually burn about 340 calories additionally per day by standing for just 2 hours total. This simple act of alternating between sitting and standing positions at least once every hour is shown to actually significantly reduce the negative impact of any stationary behaviour (be that sitting or standing for extended periods of time).  This slight increase in activity can help to improve well-being, mood and cognitive function, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure.

However, this doesn’t mean that all of us who spend most of the day glued to a computer are doomed to higher rates of cardiovascular morbidity.  The American Heart Association actually reports that any movement that raises our metabolic rate above the normal stationary resting rate can have profound long-term health benefits. So how do we get started with standing? Since most of us are creatures of habit, once you train yourself for this new habit, it is easy to do and quite enjoyable too. To make it even easier, this is where Sit to Stand desks come into the picture.  

We have empowered all of our office staff to select a sit/stand solution to assist their efforts to work in a healthier manner. And most have chosen to do so. I get the “cost” question often and here’s my answer to that. Sit Stand Solutions costs range from about $700 and up installed, but let’s use $1000 as a base for a pneumatic-powered table. That will provide a high-quality solution. Let’s project usage over 5 years (although product warranties are longer) and assume about 225 days a year for a typical office role. That works out to $0.89 cents per day per employee.

In an era where attracting talent and millennials is heating up, and when you take a quick look at your most valuable and costly resource in people, it seems to me to be a shockingly low price to add real “healthy” value to your team. Not to mention the obvious productivity gains.

It is a new and better to work, and I love it. And I’d love to hear from you!

Check out this brief video by Humanscale

Happy New Year!

Jim Mills
Office Interiors