Sitting Workstation Vs. Standing Desk: What’s for You?

In 1972, the father of the cubicle, Bob Propst, imagined workstations with desks at standing- and sitting-height levels. More than 40 years later, the idea is finally catching on, thanks to technological innovations. With portable and lightweight computers, employees now have the flexibility to move around easily as they work.

The question is, would you rather sit or stand while working?

At Metro Offices, we’d like to help you determine the best setup for your office space in Reston VA.

Let us look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of standing and sitting at work:

Sitting Workstation

Pros

Sitting at work—when done right—can help you reduce stress and stay calm. Research shows that sitting up straight and avoiding slouching may lead to better moods, fewer fears, and more confidence.

Cons

Sitting for a long time may increase the risk of having diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. According to an interview with Steven Blair, an epidemiologist and professor of public health at the University of South Carolina who headed a study about adult men and their risk of dying from heart disease:

“If you’re sitting, your muscles are not contracting, perhaps except to type. But the big muscles, like in your legs and back, are sitting there pretty quietly,” Blair says. And because the major muscles aren’t moving, metabolism slows down.

“We’re finding that people who sit more have less desirable levels” of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides and even waist size, he says, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of health problems.

Standing Desk

Pros

The results of the Take-a-Stand Project of 2011, which was published on the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that reducing sitting time at work led to a decline in neck and upper back pain. Furthermore, participants of the study reported significant improvements on their moods, comfort and energy levels, and productivity.

Cons

Studies show that standing for long hours may increase the risk of carotid atherosclerosis. Furthermore, it puts you at risk of developing varicose veins. It can also be more tiring for some individuals.

The key to achieving a healthy workplace is to create variations in your working positions. Don’t just choose one workspace setup over another. Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day so you’re not stuck in one spot.

For a Reston office space that offers both sitting and standing options, Metro Offices has you covered.

We offer workplace solutions in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. You can spend your mornings in your office and get up for a quick midmorning break at our executive café. Need a change of scene? Take your work to our business lounge and meet with your clients.

Call us at (703) 871-5208 to learn more about our services. We have office centers in Virginia at Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Reston, and McLean. In Washington DC, we’re at Metro Center, Farragut, and Connecticut Avenue. You can also find us in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

(Excerpt from Sitting All Day: Worse for You Than You Might Think, www.npr.org, April 25, 2011)
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