There is a lot of press, these days, about benefits (real or perceived) surrounding the ‘Sit Stand Desk’. To state that these desks are, or soon to be, flavour of the month, is an understatement but, also, understandable given the amount of ‘positive’ press we’re hearing from Government & Health Organisations alike.
It is claimed that the amount of sitting we do, both at home & in the office, is ruining our health & we’re all being encouraged to stand for a number of hours a day.
Dr Chris van Tullekan & Dr John Buckley, both of the University of Chester, put this to the test and persuaded an office full of people to stand for at least 3 hours a day for a week. The University team fitted the office employees with heart rate monitors, pedometers & blood glucose monitors to record a normal ‘sitting’ day in the office & then proceeded to check them during the week they were asked to stand in the office.
The results were rather remarkable!! The monitors showed that, whilst standing up, the blood sugar level cleared quicker than whilst seated. A very significant finding that, with just a little exercise, blood sugar levels are reduced much more quickly, especially after lunch.
They also found that, by standing more, heart rates were raised a tiny amount. However, when this was extrapolated out over hours, days, weeks & months led to the equivalent amount of calories being burned as if you had run 10 marathons in a year!!
One study yes, there are many more, but the benefits of standing more seem huge.
Now, in order to facilitate standing at work the office furniture industry has ‘rediscovered’ the Sit Stand Desk.
I recall, some 20 years, or so, ago fitting out a major courier company who had standardised on Sit Stand workstations. They used a Cantilever approach that had the benefit of raising the desk (& in some cases split desks) very quickly but they relied on a number of ‘ropes & pulleys’ as well as a large lump of pig iron. This all needed to be housed within a number of panels so, although it was quick, it was amazingly expensive!!
Thankfully, today, Sit Stand desks are a lot more manageable, although with some of the mechanisms, still very expensive.
I don’t believe we’ll see many end users plump for 100% Sit Stand coverage, although I am aware of a number that do, even now. However, I do believe that Sit Stand is here to stay & most, if not all end users will now be looking for at least a % of Sit Stand desks on most, if not all, projects from here on in.
One range that has impressed me is the Sit Or Stand range from the British manufacturer, Staverton. Their desk is based on a frame of either 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800 or 2000 x 800 footprint in a basic bench configuration. They offer 4 distinct versions – Height Fixed at Installation, Crank Adjustable & Electrically Adjustable &, finally a mobile version!!
Where, I believe Staverton really score, is the fact that the first three options – Fixed, Crank & Electric – are completely interchangeable with each other as they all use exactly the same hardware.
This takes away the jeopardy of the Specifiers &/or the user getting the % split between the options wrong which can be a very expensive mistake to make. If you over estimate, then these desks can be expensive. If you under estimate, even worse you have to ‘bin’ KD your existing desks & re purchase & re install your new Sit Stand version. Costs involved in KD, purchasing, & re installing could be vast.
So, by having the benefit of having their Sit Stand range interchangeable Staverton have managed to avert the lottery of the user getting their split spot on.
I’m sure that as the workplace evolves then so too will the furniture industry evolve &, hopefully, take the lead but, for now, at least, the Sit Stand Desk is back. In a big way!!