Offices designed for activity – standing at work can change your life

Until recently, the only exercise for those who sit at work each day was a lunch-hour walk, or a quick sprint to a coffee shop. But today, there’s a growing trend to introduce active design into the workplace for increased health and energy.

“Many people sit down all day long, and end up with extra weight and back problems,” said Rodney Lover, Director of Sales and one of the principals of Lovers atWork Office Furniture in London. “Most things we need to be productive at work are at our finger tips so we aren’t required to get up but body movement is natural and needed. Office workers deserve the opportunity to move around and stand for their long term health.”

atWork now offers not only more typical workstations and office furniture. A wide a variety of standing desks, height-adjustable tables and desk-top solutions are also in showroom. It’s part of a growing phenomenon which sees keeping active at the office a more prevalent idea than ever before.

“Adding movement into the workday actually increases productivity, creativity and is an easy step toward better health.”

“When you add up all the time we spend sitting, from meals to commuting to office work to relaxing at home in the evening, many of us hardly move at all,” said Lover. “Adding movement into the workday actually increases productivity, creativity and is an easy step toward better health.”

The American Medical Association (AMA) states that sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health. Those health problems have been linked to type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cancer-related deaths in very sedentary people. AMA’s policy recommends organizations offer sitting alternatives, including standing desks.

Barb Furac, a supervisor at Community Living London, agrees that it’s all about having access to alternatives to sitting when working in a healthier environment. Furac works at a desk with an adjustable height table top that allows her to stand when desired, or sit when it’s necessary.

“The top of this desk moves up and down at different heights,” explained Furac. “I’ve used it for a few years, and really enjoy it because I have the option to work according to my comfort level. There are eight of us working in a large room, and we use standing stations. It’s great to have this option.”

“…those who sit for their entire work day “typically end up taking more frequent and longer breaks…”

Adam Labelle, an ergonomist with Humanscale Consulting Canada, presented his Stand Up For Comfort information session at Lovers atWork, and revealed that “height-adjustable desks, collaborative work spaces and multi-height surfaces are all excellent tools for incorporating dynamic movement to your team’s workday.”

Labelle said those who sit for their entire work day “typically end up taking more frequent and longer breaks because they are uncomfortable, sore and fatigued. Those with office spaces that allow for dynamic movement are more comfortable, more alert and more productive.”

atWork’s London showroom has a variety of standing desk options, including electric height-adjustable work surfaces that go from sitting to standing, and even treadmill desks that allow you to walk and work. Also shown is Altitude, a line of standing desk workstations and standing meeting tables designed and made in London by local affiliated manufacturer Belair.

Also on display is a unique desk-top solution from Humanscale, the new Quick Stand adjustable platform, that allows you to use your computer while standing but without changing your current furniture. These can also be viewed on the atWork website under their Standing Desks section.

Working and sitting too many hours is a modern-day issue in today’s technology-focused lifestyle. But the old adage, “Use it or lose it,” continues to be true – and now even more in reference to the health of office workers.

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