Standing Desks: A Must-Have or Must-Avoid Item for 2016?

You often hear how sitting down for hours on end can be bad for your health as you’re inactive, but what happens if you work in an office? Can this be avoided?

Well, we’ve previously spoken about flexible seating options in this blog, but here we’ll delve into the benefits of the standing desk and how you could incorporate this unusual piece of furniture into your office interior décor.

Read more: Traditional Desks vs. Flexible Seating: Which is Best?

The Science of Standing Desks and Your Health

For years, standing desks have been a rarely used piece of furniture; something of a hidden gem. And numerous studies have revealed the benefits of remaining on your feet:

From an 18 yearlong study of 123,000 people, the American Cancer Society found that the death rate is higher in people that sit for more than 6 hours per day. Whereas a PhD study from Sydney School of Public Health found that even those who exercised for at least five hours a week were still at risk if sat for long period of time.

And it’s not just our health that may benefit. Latvian based company Draugiem Group built their own tracking productivity app which found that those using standing desks were 10% more productive than those who were sat for the same period of time.

However, we should note, a recent study released by University College London and Exeter University found that sitting is no worse for you than standing, as long as regular exercise is completed. The study tracked 5,000 people over 16 years.

So, how should a standing desk be used for optimum health benefits? Well, whether sat or stood, your eyes should always be level with the top of the monitor and your head should be between15 and 30 inches (40cm to 75cm) away from the screen. Wrists should be kept straight at all times and elbows close to your body and 90° angles.

Standing in the same position can cause tiredness and circulation issues, so make sure to stay active and do small exercises or go for frequent walks. Alternatively, opt for a desk with an adjustable height. This will give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing whenever you feel fit.

Incorporating Standing Desks into Your Office Interior Design

Making the switch to a standing desk is easy. Most quality office furniture providers will be able to supply you with both modern and more traditional styled options. Or for something a little more flexible, you could add a height adaptor to your desk. 

And for those of you who are really looking to get fit in 2016, you could even create an exercise bike come standing desk like this clever fellow…  

So, standing desks, a must-have or must-avoid item for 2016? We think an adjustable desk is best.

If you’d like to learn more about your desk options or any other office interior design aspects, please tweet us your questions to @OfficeImageLtd or take a look at a few of our other informative blog posts.

Read more:

Steve Jobs on Office Design: Science vs. Results

Innovative Office Design and the Future of Furniture

The Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

(images: Ramsey Beyer, Benny Wong, Dennis Yang and Henry Hagnäs under CC BY 2.0, and Angus McIntyre and Matthew under CC BY-SA 3.0)

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