Sitting is Killing You.

SITTING AT WORKSitting is killing you!
That might sound a little dramatic, but the science proves it. According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, 50 to 70% of people spend 6 hours or more sitting daily.

20 to 35% spend another 4 hours or more hours sitting watching T.V. The Mayo Clinic concluded that if people would just cut the amount of time they sit at work, in the car and at home by 50%, they could increase their life by 2 years. That’s pretty significant. Who wants to die 2 years earlier than necessary?

You might feel that you are mitigating the risks by running, going to the gym or generally exercising as much as you can outside work hours. The American Cancer society says that’s not the case. They did a study that showed that it’s not how much exercise you do, it’s how much time you spend sitting that kills you!

The British Journal of Sports Medicine and Diabetologia, a journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, did studies showing that even if you’re relatively active, you’re still at risk regardless if you’re going to the gym every day, doing plenty of cardio and aerobic exercise. The fact is that sitting for extended periods as we’re wont to do at work, is just as dangerous for an active person as it is for the proverbial couch potato.

The scientific research discovered that after an hour or more of sitting, your body functions change significantly.

Enzymes involved in fat burning are reduced by up to 90%.  Your metabolism slows and your HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol) is also reduced.  The end result is that you’re not only going to be putting on weight, but you’re now also at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes – 112% elevated risk – and an increased risk of 147% for heart disease. (Now you know why it’s so hard to shed those extra pounds as you age!)

In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that medical professionals such as Dr Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Toni Yancey, professor of health services at U.C.L.A. regularly do desk work while walking on a treadmill and other reading while riding a recumbent exercise bicycle.

That’s a good thing to do because it eliminates the major factor associated with prolonged sitting.  According to Professor David Dunstan, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, prolonged sitting results in the absence of skeletal muscle contractions, especially with regards to the lower limbs.  When muscles don’t contract, they don’t use as much energy, or fuel. This results in a surplus of blood sugar which elevates the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Fortunately, now that the research is proving what our bodies tell us as we age, office furniture manufacturers and office designers are giving us practical options that help us avoid sitting for extended periods of time.

Allsteel Altitude adustable height tableYou may even have seen a flurry of articles about the new Sit-Stand, or Adjustable Height Desks which allow us to work either sitting or standing.

This is great news and something that wasn’t available until fairly recently. Office furniture has evolved and continues to do so as designers begin to create systems built around humans rather than forcing humans to operate within the restrictions of the traditional desk / chair scenario.

The Adjustable Height desk concept was developed so that people could quickly and easily switch between sitting and standing while at work. Sit-Stand desks allow you to sit when you want and stand when you want.  The height of the work surface is adjusted either manually, electrically, or with gas assistance.  It takes just a few seconds. As an additional benefit, these desks can often be used from both sides, allowing you to move your position within the office as you wish, or even to collaborate with someone else at the same desk.

Until recently, it was mainly employees with back pain who asked for alternatives to traditional office chairs or who preferred to stand rather than sit while working, but we’re all becoming more health conscious and most of us are striving to exercise more consistently for our health’s sake.

Now that there’s so much research and publicity about the dangers of the dangers of sitting, employees are beginning to demand more attention be paid to wellness when designing offices and choosing office furniture.

The good news is that manufacturers are responding this demand and creating practical, affordable, ergonomically designed office systems that promote wellness at work. Toggle-adjustable-table

You can get more information about the available Sit-Stand desk options by contacting us, and also by checking out the Allsteel Altitude and K.I. Toggle. We’ll be more than happy to show you the various options available and discuss how you can enjoy a healthier work day. You’re also always welcome to contact us or visit us at our showroom and see these and other innovative office furniture systems for yourself.

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