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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk 312

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 @08:29AM (#46778067)

    And, it doesn't matter if you are moving much at all.

    Sitting in almost all but perfectly designed, custom fit chairs has all kinds of direct physical effect on your body including circulatory and respiratory changes.

    Here are only a very few of my sources:

    Circulation in general: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094039,

    Blood pressure: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/70/4/533.full.pdf

    Back problems: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9383867

  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @09:36AM (#46778539)

    I think you're over thinking this. Executive, Manager, and Secretary are just the names for styles of chairs, not some kind of hierarchy or (current) intended use.

    Secretary chairs, I believe, are not named for the person currently known as an administrative assistant, but for the piece of furniture called a secretary. A secretary is a tall cabinet, the lower part is drawers, the upper part has glassed doors to display knick-knacks, china, whatever, and in between is a fold-down panel that makes a desk. This piece of furniture would be prominent in a house. When a person wanted to write a letter, etc, they would drag a small, lightweight stool to the secretary and fold down the desk.

    In the days when most people worked in factories, the only person with a desk was the manager. Hence, a 'manager' chair is basically any desk chair.

    The executive chair is mostly to show that the person sitting in it is important, hence the leather.

  • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by cplusplus ( 782679 ) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @09:51AM (#46778653) Journal
    As someone who has been standing at a desk for the last 2+ years (programming), I can attest that a really good foam floor mat helps a lot. They make some specifically for standing desks that are quite comfortable. Standing on it in your socks actually feels pretty good. It does take a couple weeks to get used to standing most of the day.
  • by cplusplus ( 782679 ) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @10:02AM (#46778715) Journal
    ...and I've been doing it for over two years now. I used to experience back pain when I sat all day, but that went away after a month or so. I used to get sleepy after lunch when I sat all day... not so much anymore. You really do get used to it. A few suggestions for those who want to try it:

    1) Make the switch the first day you get back from a longer holiday and are already out of your normal routine.

    2) You *must* get a nice floor mat, preferably a dense memory foam mat designed for standing cubes. Working in your socks (if your employer will let you) while standing on said mat almost feels like a foot massage.

    3) Another *must* - don't get a desk-height chair! At least, not for a while. You'll find yourself sitting way too often and never get adjusted to standing all day. Most of my fellow "standing" co-workers that have tall chairs sit at least 80% of the time.

    4) It takes a couple weeks to get used to standing. Stick with it.
  • by sdoca ( 1225022 ) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @10:51AM (#46779173)
    Agreed. I can walk for 4-5 hours and my body isn't sore, but an hour of standing is brutal.

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