It might be tempting to view the rise in standing desks as yet another office fad. However, this innovative way of working could well be the future
Office managers will be used to various fads that come and go when it comes to workplace design. Everything from slides to hammocks to artificial grass has gone in and out of fashion in just a few years, (we was really hoping that office hammocks would catch on). You could be forgiven for being cynical towards the next ‘next big thing’ that comes along. However, some new developments are far from fads, and could well be here to stay.
One of the most common sights in offices over the next few years is likely to be standing desks. You might think at first sight that these are nothing more than the latest trend, but unlike hammocks and slides there are serious health, wellbeing and productivity benefits to not being sat down all day.
Return to the old ways
One of the main indicators that standing desks aren’t a fad is the fact that, for the vast majority of human history, sitting down to go to work was practically unknown. It was only the industrial revolution 200-300 years ago that started this trend, and even then it didn’t become the norm until the mid- 20th century.
The simple fact is that humans evolved to stand upright and be active. It’s why we were hunters and gatherers for thousands of years, and even after that we spent most of our time on our feet farming. As we are seeing with the growth of back problems in office- workers, the human body isn’t very well-adapted for sitting for long periods of time.
In this respect, standing desks aren’t a new thing. They’re just returning the workforce to how human-beings have always functioned best: standing up. They only seem like a fad because we’re so used to sitting at work, which is in fact counter-intuitive and bad for employees’ health.
Making people healthier
It’s easy to see how standing desks could be seen as something that won’t last. After all, who wants to spend the entire day standing up? People will get tired of them and go back to sitting as soon as possible, surely? Well, maybe not once they feel the physical benefits of being on your feet rather than remaining sedentary.
Weight loss is the most obvious one. Standing burns about 50 more calories an hour than sitting, which doesn’t sound like much but, over the course of a six-hour workday, that’s 300 calories! Something as simple as this can make a big difference.
With benefits like this, you can see how standing desks could easily be the next big thing that sticks around. The sedentary work life we currently have isn’t natural, and standing desks have the potential to undo the damage it caused. With all the potential benefits, it’s hard to see how they could just go away.
The height adjustable / sit-stand desk itself only serves as a tool enabling the users to easily change their posture for healthier lifestyle and wellbeing. However, our behavior and attitude toward changes proves to be the more challenging part for the human being. Let’s not blame the tool...