ERGONOMICS UP DOWN DESKS

  • Is standing at your desk going to solve the rising rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes?
  • Will standing burn excess adipose tissue?
  • Do we all need to rush out and buy the new glossy ergonomic electric standing desk?
  • Should we all be standing?

Yes there are a large number of studies which have shown that static sitting does increase our risk of having heart disease, diabetes and being obese. It has been shown that after one hour of sitting you have activity changes in your enzymes involved in fat metabolism and glucose metabolism that can lead to deposits of fats in adipose tissue, rather than being used by muscle. But is static standing the answer?

Standing does burn 20% more calories, however it does put stress on our circulatory system, increasing varicose veins and let’s face it, it is more tiring. It is very difficult to do fine motor skilled movements while standing and imagine what happens to your neck if you’re not standing at correct height and straight as a solider. How many of us have the urge to stand on one leg, lean on the desk, over extend our wrist on the mouse and bend our head forwards too much?

Perhaps office workers are getting the wrong message that standing work stations compared to sitting work stations are not the complete answer. The emphasis should be on MOVEMENT. This is when your fat burning enzyme lipoprotein lipase kicks in. However this is why standing desks could be more beneficial, you are more likely to move or walk about when standing.

Simply standing is not sufficient you need to ‘MOVE’. The amount of time sitting to standing to moving is not crucial. Alternate every 20/30 minutes with standing, take all phone calls standing up, read long documents walking about office. The movement does not have to be a high intensity workout. Walk to your boss and discuss the last email, walk to get some water, coffee, take the stairs. The important thing is to build in movement habitually on an hourly basis in your day. Movement is Free!

If you are thinking of upgrading your desks here are a few very good standing options

Ikea.com have a flat pack model for standing £445
uk.varidesk.com good amount of work surface provided with this one £540
backpainhelp.com posture stand, very clever one, super flexible/portable £49.99
posturite.co.uk great quality electric one £620. Also other options available cheaper. Good option for changing from sit to stand easily.
amazon.co.uk similar to posturite option £601

Happy shopping! Don’t forget to MOVE.

Sarah Sunderland
Physiotherapist

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