by Steve Upham : altspace Coworking Office, Altrincham
There’s been a large amount of conflicting debate about the merits of standing desks over the last year. Employers who prioritise wellness have been encouraged to invest in making the office landscape more variable and encourage greater movement. This can be achieved by offering standing desks which allows workers to vary the height of their work surface. The beauty is that those with bad backs can be more comfortable whilst it’s also possible to alleviate the poor posture many adopt viewing a monitor.
A recent Australian study has concluded that standing desks could increase life expectancy by promoting better health and mobility. However, the estimated cost is prohibitive for many small companies coming in at over £300 per desk. A more involved piece of research conducted by Exeter University and UCL found conflicting results over a 16 year period. They concluded that standing desks didn’t offer any significant health benefits over seated desks for the employees interviewed.
One consistent theme that abounds from both studies is that as an increasingly sedentary working population we do need to move and exercise more. An active workforce is more productive, spends less time in ill health and has a more positive outlook to the working day. The NHS recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and this can take the form of brisk walks during the day. By getting up from a seat every 30 minutes we all feel better and can re-balance our eyes, posture and mindset.
There are some clever devices now on the market that can reduce the cost of stand up working. From angled plastic trays on the kitchen island to raised bar style desks in kitchen and reception areas the idea of versatile working space is maturing. There are some cardboard stands now that collapse and are relatively inexpensive for homeworkers. As you can tell from the picture of our coworking area above, the key is to have an open space that’s adaptable and can cater for different demands through the day.