Image: The Mad Men offices definitely didn’t have treadmill desks…
While you’re probably already aware that sitting on your bum for hours on end is Public Health Enemy #1, there’s a growing body of evidence that is revealing just how damaging it can be.
For instance, it’s been linked to a heightened risk of diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity, and can impact on your mental wellbeing. Short-term, you can also end up with a seriously sore back.
More concerning still, sitting can also dramatically increase your risk of dying early — a NSW-based study found adults who sat for more than 11 hours per day were 40 percent more likely to die within three years than their more active counterparts.
That sounds like a lot of hours, but if you work in an office there’s a good chance your sitting tally isn’t far off the mark, especially when you factor in the additional time you spend sitting in the car or train, or perched in front of the TV at night. The average Aussie is estimated to sit for between 8-12 hours a day, so there are certainly a lot of us out there racking up the double digits.
This growing awareness of the perils of sitting has sparked some interesting new office trends, particularly standing desks and their more hardcore cousins, treadmill desks.
These desks aren't a new concept — Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill were known to stand as they worked — but we could be seeing more of them in the near future. Sydney chiropractor Dr Hooman Zahedi recently predicted standing desks will be common in city offices in five years' time.
“Already a few of the major banks have introduced standing desks and I think we’ll see them becoming more widespread ... Sitting is the new smoking; it’s the new cancer," he told News Corp.
Another office trend that's getting people up and out of their seats is standing meetings — something we're rather fond of here in The Glow office. There are other benefits, too; meetings are less likely to drag on unnecessarily when you're on your feet, and a study last year found workers were more engaged and less territorial in standing meetings than in seated ones. Big wins all 'round.