Standing Desk

Jennifer Barrett, Director of Business Development and Program Director, working while standing at the AXON US office

If you’re not familiar with the effects of a sedentary lifestyle—such as sitting in your car during long commutes, at your desk or in meetings for extended periods of time—they may not sit well with you. While many workers enjoy sitting at their desk during the day, recent studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle has negative effects on health outcomes, independent of daily physical activity.1 Although current guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day to prevent the detrimental effects to one’s health from sitting while at the office, contradictory studies have shown that the benefits of workouts do not outweigh the risks of sitting all day.2-4 The risks of a sedentary lifestyle range from weight gain and acute negative metabolic effects to greater cardiovascular morbidity and premature death.1

The “sit-stand desk” has become increasingly popular within the office scene, including here at AXON US. We’ve incorporated sit-stand desks in the office, giving us a chance to stand and stretch our legs while continuing desk activities, such as using the computer. These desks can reconfigure between a standing and sitting position, giving the employee an opportunity to do both throughout the day.5 Some desks are even equipped with a computer application that reminds and notifies the user to sit or stand every hour. Some research suggests beneficial metabolic outcomes, such as acute lowering of post-prandial glucose and insulin, when sitting is interrupted every 20 minutes with two minutes of activity compared to uninterrupted sitting.2 Beyond the potential health benefits this may offer, research has also shown many people enjoy using the sit-stand desk and even feel more inclined to finish their assignments on time.1

Having to drive to work and sit through several hours of traffic daily, I understand the necessity to stand and stretch your legs while at work. Utilizing a sit-stand desk can help sedentary office workers maintain a healthier lifestyle and possibly decrease the risk of metabolic or cardiovascular diseases. Where do you stand on the use of sit-stand desks?

Alex Korik

References

1.   Grunseit AC, Chau JYY, van der Ploeg HP, et al. “Thinking on your feet”: A qualitative evaluation of sit-stand desks in an Australian workplace. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:1-10

2.   Dunstan DQ, Wiesner G, Eakin EG, et al. Reducing office workers’ sitting time: rationale and study design for the Stand Up Victoria cluster randomized trial. BMC Health. 2013;13:1-14

3.   Royall PS, Troiano RP, Johnson MA, Kohl HW, et al. Physical activity guidelines for Americans. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines. 2008. Accessed March 27, 2014

4.   Proper KI, Singh AS, Van Mechelen W, Chinapaw MJM. Sedentary behaviors and health outcomes among adults: a systematic review of prospective studies. Am J Prev Med. 2011;40:174-182

5.   Varidesk. https://www.varidesk.com/height-adjustable-desks. 2014