You sit more than you sleep.
Many aren’t aware of the health risks sitting at work all day can cause. Today’s studies show that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be as detrimental to health as smoking cigarettes. Still, we sit nearly ¾ of our day on average. One way to combat this is to use a sit-to-stand work station. Sit-to-stand furniture is designed to make moving between sitting and standing at the office easy and intuitive, and they give associates the opportunity to choose how they want to work throughout the day. In fact, a sit-to-stand desk reduces sitting time by 66 minutes per day, reduces upper back and neck pain by 54%, and improves mood states. So what’s the problem? Many people who use sit-to-stand desks still spend the majority of their day in a seat.
The healthiest posture is one that changes throughout the day. Some experts recommend that workers with desk jobs aim to stand for four hours a day, with light activity throughout the work day. Smart desks like Herman Miller’s Live OS are working to minimize the sit-to-stand problem with real-time reminders to change your posture throughout the day through a subtle shake of your desk. Companies can even implement fitness challenges to make it fun for associates to get moving or can spread out widely used office accessories, like printers and coffee makers, to make for a more active day. At Continental, we regularly have fun walking challenges with apps like Stridekick.
Before investing in sit-to-stand work stations, you should take the time to evaluate which teams and associates will use them most effectively. Team members who already spend a large majority of their time on their feet or moving around to different spaces in the office will likely not gain as much benefit from a sit-to-stand desk. Those who complete lots of heads-down work or who need to be at their desk the majority of the day might find sit-to-stand desks to be ideal.
Once stations are implemented, there should be training on how to use this kind of technology. Tracking data on usage will also help to ensure your investment is a great one. You might even want to begin with just a single desk before incorporating the technology across an entire department. Implementing a few sit-to-stand desks for all associates to use, regardless of role, is another way to learn what works best for your team.
I know it can be challenging to proactively change your posture and commit to move more throughout the day, but your health and your happiness depends on it.