Silicon Valley's newest status symbol is a humble piece of furniture.
To make them feel more comfortable and energized, a growing number of workers at Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc, and more leading organizations are trading in their sit-down desks for standing ones in office. These employees are also motivated by medical reports saying that sitting for too long leads to increased health risks.
Medical studies suggest that excessive sitting can lead to increased obesity and other health problems because of factors including a drop in physical activity. A 2010 study found that women who sat more than six hours a day were 37% more likely to die prematurely than women who sat for less than three hours. There are many studies that found increased mortality among people who sat longer at home than those who didn't.
Innovative tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple have been known to have bought standing desks in the office. But the less-sedentary workstation is also migrating– to classrooms and other industries – as studies show improved productivity, more creativity, and higher test scores.
Encouraging movement through design
With 1 in 7 workers practising mindfulness, there is an increasing rate of yoga and meditation among today’s workers. As such, employers adapting to these changing worker preferences are finding new ways to promote physical activity in the office. It's good to see how many workplaces are designing spaces that encourage exercise and offering on-site gyms or yoga and meditation classes.
A leading tech company implemented meeting spaces with treadmills and designed social spaces along popular walking routes. Being results of a renewed focus on employee experience, there is an increase in standing desks and work environments designed for movement.
The people-centric mentality
Today more organizations are introducing company fitness centres and sophisticated workplace lounges that encourage personal focus and rejuvenation. In order to recruit and retain top talent, these developments indicate a new willingness among employers to make large investments in employee wellness.
To say the least, standing desks aren’t a post-2010 fad or trendy movement. The correlation between physical activity at work and coronary heart disease has long been a concern and the correlation between physical activity and health goes back to some centuries. The Greek physician Hippocrates gave the first recognition of health and activity that dates way back to the fifth century BC. He wrote:
“unused and left idle, if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well-developed and age slowly; but if they are unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.”
Are you sitting right now? Does your lower back ache? Is it hard to concentrate, are your shoulders sore and are your eyes drooping? By helping improve attentiveness and concentration, an electronic height adjustable desk could transform your sluggish body into a body that practices good posture, promotes blood flow. The best thing is - all of this can be achieved in seconds with the push of a button.
They aren't just a status symbol…
Rather, they're a smart approach to your health, promotes a healthier workplace, and is a great catalyst in encouraging conversation and change.
To start standing during your workday, you shouldn’t have to wait for a sore back or bad leg anymore. Take preventative action before injuries occur. Stand up for your health.