You might want to make sure you are in the most comfortable position at your desk before reading any further. According to a recent study of more than 50 sit-stand desks the benefits of using such a work station are mixed.
A bioengineer and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, an associate professor of occupational therapy at Tufts University, and the Executive Director of the Office Ergonomics Research Committee wanted to know whether workers using these desks sat less and moved more; reduced fatigue and obesity; if the desk helped to relieve muscular pain and how the desks affected mood and confidence.
▪ Intermittently standing throughout the day did lead in some cases to a less sedentary lifestyle.
▪ Many reported experiencing reduced lower back pain and there was a slight improvement in blood pressure readings.
▪ The study showed that the desks did not make employees healthier or more productive in measurable ways. There were actually two studies showing that sitting made an individual more productive.
▪ There was almost no effect on obesity with researchers saying that you simply do not burn enough calories while standing at your desk.
Interesting Note: About 44 percent of companies surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management now either provide for or subsidize the purchase of these desks for those who want them.
None of the studies were conducted over extended periods of time to measure long-term effect. The studies centered on younger adults at healthy weights. Remember, you can always stand and stretch throughout the day without investing hundreds into these desks. But, that does not mean standing once in the morning after your initial coffee break and then again when your about to clock out for the day!
Source: Gary R’nel
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