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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk 312

Posted by samzenpus
from the throw-away-the-tuffet dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Chris Bowlby reports at BBC that medical research has been building up for a while now, suggesting constant sitting is harming our health — potentially causing cardiovascular problems or vulnerability to diabetes. Advocates of sit-stand desks say more standing would benefit not only health, but also workers' energy and creativity. Some big organizations and companies are beginning to look seriously at reducing 'prolonged sitting' among office workers. 'It's becoming more well known that long periods of sedentary behavior has an adverse effect on health,' says GE engineer Jonathan McGregor, 'so we're looking at bringing in standing desks.' The whole concept of sitting as the norm in workplaces is a recent innovation, points out Jeremy Myerson, professor of design at the Royal College of Art. 'If you look at the late 19th Century,' he says, Victorian clerks could stand at their desks and 'moved around a lot more'. 'It's possible to look back at the industrial office of the past 100 years or so as some kind of weird aberration in a 1,000-year continuum of work where we've always moved around.' What changed things in the 20th Century was 'Taylorism' — time and motion studies applied to office work. 'It's much easier to supervise and control people when they're sitting down,' says Myerson. What might finally change things is if the evidence becomes overwhelming, the health costs rise, and stopping employees from sitting too much becomes part of an employer's legal duty of care. 'If what we are creating are environments where people are not going to be terribly healthy and are suffering from diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes,' says Prof Alexi Marmot, a specialist on workplace design, 'it's highly unlikely the organization benefits in any way.'"
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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:15AM (#46777979)

    ...when the main problem isn't really sitting down, but being STILL in the same position hour after hour.

  • by evanh (627108) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:19AM (#46778005)

    Doing some full stride walking every day is the bees-nees!

    Standing isn't going to give you anything more than sore feet.

  • Classroom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokolosh (1256448) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:40AM (#46778147)

    This should be extrapolated to the classroom. In particular, to boys in elementary and middle school.

  • Re:Weak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:43AM (#46778153)

    Give me omnipotence and I'd be happy to take care of that for you.

  • And the links to your peer-reviewed studies are... where?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:48AM (#46778205) Homepage
    I switched to a standing desk last tuesday, and found my company supported the idea as part of our wellness initiative (I got free fruit for deciding to do it.) The first two days were kinda rough, but afterwards it just becomes a normal part of your day. What i was surprised to find was im way more refreshed at the end of the day, and find it a lot easier to communicate with people who are at my cube than if im sitting.

    A few other coworkers do a 'part time' standing desk by elevating their normal work surface using cardboard boxes from the datacenter. im also told a stress relief mat helps make the transition a lot better. Either way, I dont see myself going back to a sitting desk anytime soon.
  • Hmm, not really. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @10:10AM (#46778787)

    "Capable of keep going under cold or heat in ways most animals would die"

    Can't let you get away with that. My dog can go out when its below freezing quite happily. I need 2 layers of clothing plus a coat.

    As for heat, yes , we're slightly better adapted due to being able to sweat but that comes with a price - huge water consumption. Not very useful in a desert. Mr Camel solved the problem far better.

    "We can survive bacteria, viruses and parasites and wounds"

    So can most animals otherwise the most complex life would still be a sponge. And to use my dog as an example again - he can happily drink water from streams and puddles that would put me on the toilet for 2 days.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in ID anymore than anyone with an IQ greater than their shoe size, but as far as comparisons to other animals goes, the human body in the raw is pretty feeble. Even compared to our nearest cousin chimpanzees we're pretty hopeless physically - our muscles and bones are much weaker and they can survive falls from heights that would easily kill a human.

  • by s0nicfreak (615390) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @10:16AM (#46778837) Homepage Journal
    Yep. The problem is the "work day" not the desks. It doesn't matter if you spend those hours sitting, standing, or switching between sitting and standing because you're going to be sitting or standing at the same desk, in a similar position (or in two positions) all day every day. .

    I think we need to let go of the idea that jobs must be done from 9 - 5. Let people telecommute and get their work done whenever is best for them. A person can go biking, then sit in a park and do work one day; take a walk to starbucks and work from there the next; then spend the day playing with their kids and do their work at night, sitting in their bed. I don't understand why, despite the fact that technology makes this possible (and the fact that most hourly jobs can now be replaced with computers and/or machines, or are outsourced) we switched to treating salaried jobs the same as hourly jobs, where you get paid because you are there at your designated time rather than because you get your work done.
  • by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @12:59PM (#46780385) Journal

    Not with my knees.

    You're right. I'm guessing these office workers have never been waitresses or had a job requiring 8 hours of standing because if they had they would appreciate being able to sit instead of standing. Standing prolonged hours causes varicose veins and can cause knee and joint pain. Sitting just causes a fat butt. Solution is to get up and walk around every so often. Most of these office workers have regular scheduled breaks, they need to use their breaks to get up and be active.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @01:04PM (#46780449)

    I don't know, man. I'm a med student, and after taking gross anatomy (human dissection) and medical neuroscience, I'm convinced the human body is really poorly designed.

    Our knees suck, our eyes suck compared to cephalopods' eyes, our heart does exactly the wrong thing during a heart attack (positive feedback loop to failure), our digestive tract is overly complex, our hepatobiliary system seems setup to fail... and don't even get me started on our embryologic development.

    However, all this pales compared to our nervous system. It's a miracle that insane rat's nest of connections works at all. For example, most people know that the CNS is crossed (so left brain controls right side and vice versa). No good reason for that, but where it gets really batshit is that all the different modalities in the brain cross in different ways and in different places. So, for example, a lesion on one side of the spinal cord will cause loss of fine touch on that side of the body, but will cause a loss of pain/temperature sensation on the OPPOSITE side. Whatever.

    About the only truly impressive system in our body from a conceptual/operational standpoint is our adaptive immune system. That's badass.

  • Re:Weak (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jhumkey (711391) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @02:19PM (#46781273) Journal
    Omniscience . . . not omnipotence.

    With omniscience . . . you don't need omnipotence. With omniscience you don't need ANY power because you know how to create (from nothing) or seize control, of any power, in any time frame, to achieve any effect.

    Having omnipotence without omniscience . . . you can really only blow $hit up.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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