The human body is built to move. So many studies, so many articles, blogs, white papers, opinions and marketing pieces have gone to great lengths to scare us into the concept of dying young, getting fat or simply living in discomfort. The human body was built to move, the magic formula to well being in the office is not a desk that goes up and down, a chair that keeps your posture just right or a gym ball to balance on, the formula, the thing that is common in all of those “solutions” is movement. Constantly moving whilst working allows the body to be natural.
To most people, healthy movement means exercise; cardio, crunches, and other such fitness models. But moving your body is about so much more, moving the body may provide improved thinking, greater focus, improved creativity, stronger working relationships and expression of your thoughts and ideas more clearly. Health wise movement will naturally burn calories, it will naturally release positive endorphins all of which are beneficial to your health.
Society, commuting and work in an office is still structured to reduce movement of the human form, look at your average day: you may drive to a train station, stand on a train, take an escalator down to the tube or tram station, stand again. Take the escalator back up, walk to the office and sit. We go home and we do it all in reverse, then we take a seat on the sofa to relax. It’s very easy to avoid too much movement, perhaps unintentionally, but nonetheless, it’s avoided. This type of behaviour is not what our bodies were built for, as a result, bad backs, sore legs and painful feet become the norm.
If you can’t move that well, it might be a sign you are not as healthy as you could be, not able to keep up with your kids in the park or unable to run for that train? The quality and the quantity of your movement each day, your strength and agility, start to become in important factor in your greater well being. Now there are times you can’t move, crammed on public transport is one of those times, doing push ups on the train to work is a no, no, it’s weird even. But, you can walk rather than use the escalator, and now you can move more in the office with sit stand desks.
This is all very encouraging, however, a recent LinkedIn post from Andy Rampage summarised how a year standing* whilst working had changed his life, you can read the article here. Beginning to stand in the office unleashed more energy, more power for his body to physically and mentally more. So a sit stand desk was the solution? Nope. The marketing the furniture provider did to inform Andy of the benefits of standing at a desk unleashed that energy? I doubt it. Andy made a decision to be more active, to put his body into the state is was designed – a state of movement – by standing at work – really?
Andy says “When the weekend comes and I can sit, stand or do what I like there is a real sense that my body is stronger. I have fewer aches and pains, whilst I have tons of extra vitality”. He has more energy and has become an inspiration to others. Standing at work wasn’t the solution though. It was the lifestyle change, standing up to work was only part of that, the quitting of alcohol, diet change and a reduction in smartphone usage almost certainly helped too. It was a mindset adjustment.
Can desk designers and manufacturers claim to improve well being? I don’t think so? Should we at Claremont Centre? Honestly? No, we shouldn’t. We’re on the band wagon with everyone else. We can’t claim that standing at one of our desks will make you live longer, be more creative, have greater focus, loose weight, make you more desirable to the opposite sex or even improve your ability to express ideas. We can’t claim that a desk alone will change your life. What we can claim is that if you want to use a sit stand desk in the office as part of a wider well being outreach, to aid workers to start on the right foot we can provide a Sit & Stand desk that is the highest quality and is cost effective.
As part of a complete well being overview, the one experienced by Andy, there is no doubt you will benefit from:
- More energy with a greater feeling of youth.
- A greater ability to face physical challenges you have put off.
- Empowerment; mentally & physically.
- Lifestyle pride.
- Freedom from anxiety and blues.
Andy was happier because his body now works the way it’s supposed to. But a desk alone will not do that, it maybe the catalyst for other things, it maybe part of another set of activities you are doing, but don’t be under the illusion that standing to work will help on its own. The human form was designed to move, it certainly was, but that is a small part of the puzzle.
*It should be noted that when you embark on the revelation of having sit stand desks in the office that standing is only part of the activity you should be embarking on. Moving around the office helps but sitting does too. The key is movement, perhaps we shouldn’t call them sit stand desks? Perhaps we should call them moving desks, after all, it is the promotion of movement over a single position that can help you creaking your way to 40!
If you’re considering sit stand working as part of an office refurbishment, give us a call on 0141 419 0437.