Today from the history department they’ve uncovered that the idea of standing while working is not new. In fact advice to stand while writing goes all the way back to the 1700’s.
In the book The Practical Works of the Rev Job Orton he observed:
“I am concerned lest you should injure your health by too close an application to your studies. Walk out often: and when you write or read, be sure to keep yourself in as upright a posture as you can. Write upon an inclined plane, but a standing desk is best. Nothing is more injurious to the health of young divines and students than stooping.”
There you have it advice that is over 200 years old and then published again in 1842.
So why does this advice on sit to stand still fall on closed ears? Here are some observations we’ve made over the past several years.
- It appears to some companies that this is an unnecessary perk. Many view this as a luxury that does not warrant the expense. Even with mounting evidence of consistently poorer worker health and rising healthcare costs. The installation of standing desk options does not guarantee immediate acceptance and use, but without them available you are guaranteed to continue along the same path. Training and education is the best solution for overcoming the fear of wasting money.
- Recently on a news magazine show an “expert” indicated that people can’t stand for hours because they “get tired.” Now, not being an expert but a consistent user of the technology I can tell you that “yes, you will be tired” but only at first. We never recommend that you go cold turkey and begin standing up for your entire day. Starting with short spurts of 10-15 minutes per hour and then increasing this over time. But consistency is the best course. You would not just decide to run a marathon without training and getting into shape, standing while working is pretty much the same.
- It costs too much. This can be true if you are looking to outfit 100’s of people at one time. But consider this, how much will your insurance costs go down over time if you can get the benefits of each person running 10 marathons each year? I believe you will see a dramatic improvement in the health of the staff that uses the technology and for those that don’t, pass it along to others who want it. A one-time cost of $500 to $1200 can go along way to paying for those insurance costs.
So, what are we going to see over the next 10-15 years? I believe that activity in the workplace will become more prevalent as we continue to move towards the need for improving our health. Along with this we should see more adoption of these types of furniture and a push to GET UP AND MOVE AROUND during your work day.
Remember, if you are sitting get up and move around at least every 35-45 minutes out of an hour. Set a timer on your computer if need be – BUT JUST DO IT!