It is obvious to right-thinking people: standing all day is not good for your health. Neither is sitting all day. Yet many employers require their employees to stand all day – or vice a versa: out of necessity, their (office) work takes place largely while sitting. Variation is the keyword.
1. Improves your concentration – Appropriate variation between sitting and standing while you work ensures better blood circulation throughout your whole body, including your brain, which gets more oxygen. Your brain thus has the opportunity to function optimally, this translates into an improved level of concentration, amongst others.
2. Increases your creativity – Research shows that by alternating between a sitting and a standing position (preferably even taking a walk), the brain is able to generate 2.5 times new ideas. If you want to have a creative brainstorming session, ensure sufficient variation between sitting and standing, or better still: take a short walk.
3. Burns more calories – In general, we aren’t very active in the office and we have to work out at the gym in the evenings to burn more calories. Typing on a keyboard burns only 34 kcal. However, when you alternate between standing and sitting whilst you work, your heart pumps about 10 times as much blood through your body compared to someone who only sits.
4. Standing gives you more energy – What’s more; by alternating between standing and sitting while you work, you are less likely to be overwhelmed by a feeling of sleepiness. This effect is more noticeable during the afternoon and has a negative effect on your performance at work. In addition, people speak differently when they stand. For example, in a standing position, call centre staff can move their whole body and thus managing their emotions and difficult telephone conversations more easily.
5. Live longer – Research conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that sitting for long periods without alternate standing, has a negative effect on one’s metabolism. So much so, that employees are at higher risk of developing diabetes and heart conditions.
All the experts agree that only sitting or only standing while you work isn’t the solution. However, they are enthusiastic about a combination of both. Office furniture must be suitable for both sitting and standing while working and that employees be trained in the appropriate way to stand whilst at work.
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