Sit / Stand desks: Are there really health benefits?

Sit / stand desks, standing desks, ergonomic desks… Whatever you choose to call them, we all know that they aren’t a hugely new phenomenon. But, it’s not until fairly recently that studies have been done exploring the health benefits of using them.

We’re always keen to educate people on creating healthy working environments, so were pretty excited to hear that a comprehensive year-long study on the health benefits of standing desks was publishing its findings. Yes… this is exactly the type of thing that we get excited about at Blueprint!

The study, “Stand Up to Work: Assessing the Health Impacts of Adjustable Workstations” is the product of a collaboration between Icahn School of Medicine, Center for Active Design (CfAD), Perkins+Will, and Steelcase. And it’s given us a whole load of new insights to talk about.

In this quick read we’ve summarised what we think are the key take-aways from this ground-breaking study so you don’t have to read the whole thing yourself… You can thank us later! 

Feeling better

Height adjustable desks (yep, that’s another name for them!) were initially introduced to tackle the potential health problems that can be caused by sitting at a desk for the whole working day.

Since then, they’ve come a long way both in design and popularity, and have even been prescribed to desk-based workers suffering from conditions such as back pain.

This was something that the study looked into, and 47% of people said they’d experienced a significant reduction in upper back, shoulder and neck discomfort whilst using a standing desk. Definitely something to think about if you or your staff experience any of these issues.

Reduced sitting time

We don’t blame you for not being surprised when we tell you that sitting all day isn’t great for your health.

Whilst there aren’t yet any concrete figures for how long you should be limiting the time you spend sitting to, having long periods of inactivity has been linked to being overweight, obese, and Type 2 Diabetes among other health conditions.

It might sound like an obvious one, but using a height adjustable desk can reduce your sitting time at work. People in this study spent 17% less time sitting after 3 months, and this was still the case after a year. So it really can change your habits longer term. 

Improvements outside of work

We didn’t exactly expect this one, but 65% of people said that their health had been impacted in a positive way outside of the workplace by using a standing desk at work… Who knew?  

When you think about it, it’s quite logical that becoming healthier at work will lead to a person living a healthier lifestyle overall. And if you ask us, that can only be a good thing!

Increased productivity

At Blueprint, we’re all about finding ways of helping you to increase productivity in the workplace, so this one was pretty interesting to us.

65% of people said they were more productive when using a height adjustable desk. Feeling more awake, alive and refreshed was also reported, which we think can only be described as an added bonus.

So, what do we think?

It’s important for us as interior design experts to spread the word about how the built environment can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing at work.

This is a fantastic example of how making a relatively simple change to your workspace could bring you unexpected benefits. We’re not saying that standing desks will solve all of your problems, but coupled with a reworking of your office, they could make a positive difference to your business.

Create a healthier workplace for your business

If you’d like to get ready to enter a new space – one to impress clients and investors, energise your staff, and allow your whole organisation to work to its full potential please get in touch.

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