Sit-stand workstations are in high demand as the UK catches up with its Scandinavian neighbours in rolling out this new way of working. Research shows that sit-stand workstations and meeting tables can improve productivity and wellbeing, but without proper guidance, these potential benefits could be overshadowed by new risks arising from poor posture and excessive standing.
Just as sitting has been declared 'the new smoking' by some, counterclaims also state that excessive standing can compromise health and wellbeing, too. The real benefits of sit-stand is not just in mitigating the long term side effects of prolonged episodes of sitting in a chair over many years. The key is in the regular movement it facilitates, even encourages. Tim Hanwell, osteopath and co-founder of office design and ergonomics consultancy Officeworks, tells us: "Alternating between a sitting and standing position is a personal choice, but changing every 2030 minutes is a good idea."
Software packages integrated with electronic sit-stand desks such as KI’s Work2 Sit-Stand collection can be a useful way of reminding us when to make the change and monitor performance. The software can also be programmed with a user’s ideal sitting and standing height, eliminating the risk of incorrect adjustments when switching from one position to another. This is particularly advantageous for people in flexible workspaces who can carry their preprogrammed height memories with their laptops to new workstations each day.
Tim continues: "With the introduction of sit-stand desks, I have witnessed dramatic improvements to the health and wellbeing of a number of my patients. But it is essential to use these workstations appropriately in order to realise their potential benefits, rather than creating new risks in the office environment."