A new report published in the Medical Journal of Australia is urging businesses to adopt a "standing desk" policy to improve office workers' posture and overall health. According to the paper, not only are non-standing desks bad for you, they could constitute an unsafe working environment if no standing options are provided. Here are a few standing desk hacks to help get your boss on board.
Researchers from Curtin University's School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science in WA have confirmed what hundreds of Lifehacker readers already knew -- standing desks are awesome. So awesome, in fact, that they should be a mandatory requirement in offices around the country. The research paper suggest that doctors should be allowed to prescribe standing in the workplace for at-risk patients, which would effectively force certain businesses to adopt a standing desk culture.
“A doctor who is aware that a patient has a prolapsed disc in the spine would require the patient to refrain from lifting heavy objects at work. In the same way, a doctor who is aware that a patient’s cardiovascular condition necessitates remaining active and avoiding excessive sedentary exposure should inform the patient and employer of the need for the patient to regularly move to maintain wellbeing”, explained head researcher Professor Leon Straker.
According to the paper, over 75 per cent of the office workday is spent sitting, usually in unbroken bouts of at least 30 minutes. This "excessive sitting" can lead to such serious diseases as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and may cause premature mortality.
“There is now evidence that both overall sedentary time and the pattern of sedentary exposure are associated with substantial harm," the authors warn. "Some risk reduction strategies, such as introducing standing meetings, are costless. While other strategies have a cost, the cost does not seem disproportionate given the potential for significant harm.”
The Lifehacker headquarters recently switched to standing desk and we've noticed a marked improvement in everything from sleep and posture to workplace interactions (i.e. -- it's easier to see everyone else in the office.) If you need further convincing, you can watch us bang on about standing desks in this Allure Media "Outcast" video.
Keen to make the switch yourself? You can find all manner of DIY standing desk hacks via our Standing Desk tag. Thankfully, there are plenty of affordable options to appease tightarse bosses. Good luck!
Have you ever tried using a standing desk at work? How did you find it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Excessive occupational sitting is not a “safe system of work”: time for doctors to get chatting with patients [Medical Journal of Australia]