Thinking about asking for a standing desk for work…this study proves many benefits!
Want a Standing Desk? Show This Study to Your Boss
Standing desks became trendy because of their ability to cut into your sitting time, thereby improving your health and wellness in the workplace. And a small new study says the benefits don’t stop there: standing desks may actually improve your job performance, too.
Office workers who used desks that could be adjusted for sitting or standing reported significant reductions in the amount of time they spent sitting, better health and improved work performance at the end of a year-long trial, compared to employees who sat at their desks as usual. The results were published Wednesday in the BMJ.
The study involved 146 people who worked in office roles at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in the U.K. Seventy-six participants were given sit-stand desks and completed training meant to encourage less sitting at work, including an educational seminar, individual coaching sessions and even a smart seat cushion, which reminded people to stand by vibrating. People in the other group didn’t get any coaching and worked at their desks as normal. Everyone’s sitting and standing time was measured by a device worn continuously on the thigh at the start of the study, and again at three, six and 12 months into the trial.
At the start of the study, people sat for an average of 9.7 hours each day, including time at home. But over the course of the year, people in the intervention group began sitting much less than people in the control group: After three months, they spent 50 fewer minutes seated each day. That number grew over time. After six months, they sat for 64 fewer minutes than the control group, and after a year, they sat for 82 fewer minutes.
At WittFitt we believe that Moderation is the key! Not too much sitting or too much standing. This is a great article that explains why we need ACTIVE products at work.
Should you sit or stand at work? Both may kill you, experts say
By Kyle Rothenberg
Published May 21, 2015
Fox News If you sit or stand at work, it could be killing you — according to many health professionals trying to figure out which is the healthiest option.
There are dozens of studies published in the past decade that report too much “butt-on-the-chair” time can shorten our lifespan and increase the risk of developing deadly illnesses, including cancer and obesity.
Harvard researchers found that the more time people spend sitting at work, driving or watching television, the more likely it is that they will die from heart disease and strokes.
Another study reveals that sitting most of the day increases the risk of dying from a heart attack by more than 50 percent, while cutting daily sitting time to under three hours might extend our life by two years.
But other specialists are suggesting that standing at work is also bad for our health.
“It dramatically increases the risks of carotid atherosclerosis…and it also increases the risks of varicose veins, so standing all day is unhealthy,” Alan Hedge, a certified professional ergonomist and professor at Cornell University said.
“The problem with standing [at work] is that when you raise desk height for keyboard/mouse use, you need to also raise screen height about the desk or you get neck flexion,” Hedge said. “Neck flexion” is the movement in which the chin is lowered down toward the chest.
WALL STREET JOURNAL, NY. FEB. 2007.
New Workplace Trend Replaces Office Chairs With Gym Balls; A Debate Over Health Benefits
By ANJALI ATHAVALEY
February 27, 2007
People have searched for the perfect office chair for decades, one comfortable, adjustable and easy on the back. Now some professionals are abandoning chairs altogether — in favor of parking their hind quarters on a giant rubber ball. Long used by fitness buffs and physical-therapy patients, those big spheres you see at the gym (commonly known as exercise balls) are rolling into an increasing number of workplaces as a seating option. Google Inc., a company that prides itself on its unconventional office culture, displays several balls on its campus in a recruitment video available online. But more-staid employers, including BMW AG and Bain & Co., the international consulting firm, are allowing employees to bring in balls or ball chairs for personal use as well. Manufacturers and distributors report that sales of the balls are up sharply. They even made an appearance on the TV show “The Office,” when one character, irritated by the incessant bouncing, stabs a colleague’s ball. Devotees say exercise balls, whose circumference ranges from about 18 to 30 inches, help improve posture and concentration. Sitting upright on them requires using abdominal and lower back muscles. Yet some ergonomists warn against balls in the cubicle. “The experience I’ve heard from people is that it’s difficult to use for a long time,” says Peter Budnick, president and CEO of Ergoweb Inc., an ergonomic consulting company in Park City, Utah. Sitting on the ball for hours at a time could cause people to eventually relax their muscles and slump forward, he says. The ball also lacks the adjustments that come with an office chair — there is no way to raise the height to fit the height of your desk and keyboard — and the ball offers no back or arm support. There are other potential complications. Adjusting oneself on the ball can be tough — especially for women who wear short skirts. Slouching can result in a tumble. It can also be an office safety hazard, says Andrew Concors, a physical therapist and certified industrial ergonomist at San Diego-based CPT Consulting.
He has had a couple of patients in the past who have ruptured their balls at home while sitting on them and Some employees at the New York office of Naked Communications, a London-based marketing-strategy firm, opt for exercise balls over desk chairs. doing exercises. The ball also has a tendency to roll, which could cause other employees to trip. Still, some workers say sitting on a ball makes them feel younger. “It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid,” says Patricia Harder, director of training and development at Healthtrax Inc., a Glastonbury, Conn.-based company that operates fitness and wellness centers. Ms. Harder bought a ball chair for herself a couple of years ago. When she began working at home, the chair went with her. Now, she says, sitting on regular chairs is a turnoff. Many employees supply their own balls at the office, but companies are starting to make them available, saying their oddity helps foster a creative environment and encourages better posture. Last summer, Sprint Nextel Corp. stuck about a dozen balls in its Overland Park, Kan., and Reston, Va., offices to inspire creativity among employees in the product-development group. The U.S. headquarters of Naked Communications, a London-based marketing-strategy consultant, purchased balls for eight or nine employees who requested them. Besides the physical benefits, the balls make work more entertaining, a company executive says. “We always have music playing, so you can bounce,” says Paul Woolmington, a founding partner of the firm, while bobbing up and down on a gray ball. He adds: “A lot of people like it because it does discipline you on your posture.” At BlueSky Strategies Inc., a communications-strategy firm in Toronto, employees have races on ball chairs, which roll easily, when they need a break from work. Sometimes they even do it backwards, says Ingrid Rubin, the firm’s president. Some medical professionals warn that while the ball can be beneficial for short periods of time, prolonged usage can result in exhaustion. “I see value in it for the younger person who can tolerate it,” says David Apple, medical director emeritus of the Shepherd Center, a hospital in Atlanta that treats people with spinal-cord injury and disease. But, he adds, “they may need to work up to having it for eight hours.” Also, he says that while the ball may help young people who are in shape, he wouldn’t recommend it for those over 50. “You have to maintain your balance. If you have to turn and answer the phone, you could conceivably fall off.” First introduced in the 1960s, exercise balls — also known as stability balls, Swiss balls and balance balls — have been used in gyms for years. More recently, technology companies brought them into the workplace.
In European classrooms, the balls are often used instead of chairs. Exercise balls, typically priced at about $25 — a bargain compared to $900 to $1,600 for an Aeron chair — is now making inroads into larger companies as well as U.S. schools. Last year, the Perkins Academy, a public school in Des Moines, Iowa, began offering the balls to 4th- and 5th-graders who obtain parental consent. Three balls have deflated in one 5th-grade classroom this year, although not while children were sitting on them. Shelly Johnson, the teacher, blames staples or other sharp objects. She says that children have rolled off the ball on occasion, but they have never received serious injuries. Ball Dynamics International LLC, a Longmont, Colo.-based company that manufactures FitBall brand balls in North America, has seen a 10% year over year increase since 2004 in sales of its ball chairs. Broomfield, Colo.-based Gaiam Inc. says it has seen sales of its balance ball chair — which is geared toward office users — nearly quadruple over the last three years. Other companies say that the growing popularity of Pilates — a workout regimen that makes use of exercise balls — is helping make the balls more popular. Stott Pilates, a subsidiary of Merrithew Corp., which sells Pilates videos and equipment, has seen an 82% increase in ball sales from 2004 to 2006. The company, which began offering the ball in 2004, sold more than 11,000 balls last year.
Some in the ball industry say that the benefits of the ball, which keeps people active while sitting, outweigh the concerns. “Because you buy a ball that fits your height and your frame and your size, you are sitting properly,” says Lisa Witt, founder of WittFitt LLC, a company that markets balance balls to schools and offices. She recommends that novices start out using the ball in 30-minute increments. Many people opt instead for “ball chairs,” which come with a frame and are consequently more stable and somewhat less eccentric-looking. In the corporate office of Food Fight Inc., a Madison, Wis.-based restaurant group, Lisa Schell and Brian Zach are the selfproclaimed ball-chair guinea pigs. The sight of the odd-looking chairs always draws comments from employees and mail carriers. Ms. Schell says. “I think people would like to have one, but they are afraid to have it.” In some offices, employees who sit in regular chairs are developing ball envy. At PJ Inc., a New York-based public relations firm, when a new employee showed up with a ball chair on her third day of work, people stared. “It was kind of like, who is this strange girl who brought a chair in with her?” says Charis Heelan, a coworker. “That was until we sat in it.” The employees are now fascinated with the space-age looking chair. It has also become a conversation starter when clients visit the office. “When she’s not at her desk, we all go and sit on her chair,” Ms. Heelan says. “There’s a bit of jealousy.” Write to Anjali Athavaley at email@example.com Corrections & Amplifications: Exercise balls typically range from 18 to 30 inches in diameter. This article incorrectly states that their circumference ranges from 18 to 30 inches.
Office exercise: Add more activity to your workday
Too much sitting and too little exercise is bad for your health. So get off your seat and make physical activity — from fitness breaks to walking meetings — part of your daily routine.
By Mayo Clinic Staff- May 10, 2017
1. Start with your commute
Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus or the subway, get off a few blocks early or at an earlier stop than usual and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot — or park in a nearby lot. In your building, take the stairs rather than the elevator.
2. Stand up and work
Look for ways to get out of your chair. Stand and walk while talking on the phone. Or try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. Eat lunch standing up. If possible, skip instant messaging and email, and instead walk to a colleague’s desk for a face-to-face chat.
3. Take fitness breaks
Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a brisk walk, hike a few flights of stairs or do some gentle stretching. For example, face straight ahead, then lower your chin to your chest. Or, while standing, grab the back of one of your ankles — or your pant leg — and bring it up toward your buttock. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
4. Bring a fitness ball to work
Consider trading your desk chair for a firmly inflated fitness or stability ball, as long as you’re able to safely balance on the ball. You’ll improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. Use the fitness ball for wall squats or other exercises during the day. Keep in mind that in some cases, an office chair may be more appropriate. 5. Keep fitness gear at work Store resistance bands — stretchy cords or tubes that offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them — or small hand weights in a desk drawer or cabinet. Do arm curls between meetings or tasks.
To Work Better, Just Get Up From Your Desk
Alison Griswold , CONTRIBUTOR I cover the broad umbrella of leadership, and everything under it.
FULL BIO Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Sleepwalking through your job? Often hit by the 2 p.m. slump? A new study suggests a quick fix for those daily lags in energy. And no, it’s not a cup of coffee.
Interspersing short movements and exercises throughout the workday can boost employee energy, engagement and efficiency, says sports scientist Jack Groppel. Whether it’s stretching periodically in your cubicle or walking to a coworker’s desk rather than sending that intra-office email, small actions can go a long way toward improving both individual and company performance…
Both Sullivan and Groppel note that introducing movement to workplace culture is easier when office leaders are on board with the initiative. Periodic movements should not be considered “breaks,” Groppel adds, since the activity seems to enhance employee productivity and concentration.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate movement into your workday:
Take the stairs
Hold “walking meetings,” taking notes on the go if needed
Sit on an exercise ball at your desk
Talk to colleagues in person rather than sending intra-office emails
Walk to a farther bathroom
Stand up periodically
Try small stretches or exercises like knee extensions