Results of a 7 Week Study of standing desks amongst employees

(Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011)

Felt happier
Felt more productive
Felt more focused
Felt more energized

Sitting Is the New Smoking

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?  But a recent study found those who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.

This was carried out by researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester. The primary author is being funded for a PhD in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester. The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Diabetologia and was well-reported by the BBC, Daily Mail and Daily Express.  The review of 18 studies (794,577 participants) concluded it is so harmful that even an hour of intense exercise may not make up for the negative effects of an entire day spent sitting!

studies reviewed
surveyed participants

Those who sit the most have a…

147% increase in cardiovascular events
112% increase in risk of diabetes
90% increase in death due to cardiovascular events
49% increase in death due to any events

Why is it a problem now?

Studies go as far back as the 1950’s when researchers found that London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues. And today the average adult now spends 50-60% of their day in sedentary pursuits.

Before the 20th century most jobs required more physical activity. At the same time, new business practices and theory moved towards sitting as a solution to better employee control, and the perception of job security – the ‘desk job’.

With obesity and cardiovascular disease on the rise, evidence now suggests that standing is more beneficial than sitting with the occasional moderate exercise.  Wait what!? Can standing be better than moderate exercise + sitting?

Standing desks improve your health while saving you time

Reduction in upper back pain


Reduction in sugar spike


Dont want to exercise after a long commute


Too exhausted to exercise


Why the Gym is no substitute

Until recently, the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle were thought to be a result of insufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, leading many to incorrectly assume that sedentary behavior and physical activity were opposite ends of the same continuum. This assumption has been challenged and the determinants of sedentary behavior and physical activity might be distinct. In the past 10 years, more than 300 published studies have measured sedentary behavior as a concept distinct from physical activity, and there is now widespread conceptual and empirical support that the two exert independent and interdependent influences on health. Physiologic mechanisms observed during periods of inactivity may have an indirect influence on our health because of their role in triglyceride uptake, HDL cholesterol production, and glucose transport.

In short, even if people meet the current recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days each week, there may be significant adverse metabolic and health effects from prolonged sitting—the activity that dominates most people’s waking hours.

In Summary

Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

You burn over 170 more calories when standing for an afternoon!  This is one major reason why standing reduces the risk of diabetes.

Standing lowers your risk of Diabetes

Sugar levels increase after meals, and a studies have found that standing after lunch reduces blood sugar spike by 11%-43% compared to sitting.  Those who site have double the risk of type 2 diabetes to those that stand.

Standing reduces heart disease

A recent study that followed 17,013 Canadians for 12 years found higher risk of mortality across higher levels of sitting time, for all categories of sex, age, smoking status, and body mass index.

Standing reduces back pain

One study found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks, and another by 32%.  Areas of further research are being done into the constrained and relatively static postures imposed by seated work are risk factors for musculoskeletal ill health.

Standing improves mood

Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being. In one study participants who used sit stand desks 87% felt energized, 71% felt more focused, 66% felt more productive and 62% felt happier than those who remained seated the entire work day.

Standing improves productivity

A recent study from Texas A&M University found that employees who used standing desks were more productive than those with traditional desks.
Can we mention ‘study’ any more times? Nope, we didn’t think so either.
OK so now that the writing’s on the wall, have a look at a how beautiful your desk can be…

Like the science, LOVE the look

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