Sitting is still the new smoking – trend towards healthier office furniture

If you walked into any commercial space in Cape Town today to find people smoking at their desks, you’d be understandably shocked. But recent research suggests that sitting at those very same desks could be just as bad for our health, affirming the call for healthier office furniture.

As the workforce becomes more health-conscious following the worst pandemic in living memory, companies are embracing healthy work lifestyles – and desk-setups are no exception. With an increasing number of companies and staff returning to the office as we move into the latter half of 2021, we have a new opportunity to reconfigure the physical aspect of our office life in a way that’s good for our health. 

Personal wellbeing and ergonomics go hand in hand with Workplace Health Management and standing desks, which can easily be implemented in a hot desking setup, is a good way to step it up.

Stand up for a healthier office space 

It’s no secret that working in an office isn’t exactly the most active job, but that doesn’t mean that we need to resign ourselves to a sedentary lifestyle. 

  • Studies around the world indicate that excessive sitting can have a very negative impact on our cardiovascular health, with some research likening its effects to those caused by smoking. 
  • Office workers who spend hours in the same seated position – often more than eight, are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, higher resting heart rate, and high BMIs. All these factors increase our risk of heart disease and other ailments.

Fortunately, there’s a simple modification you can make to your Cape Town office space that will help reverse these affects and improve your overall health: stand while you work. 

The benefits of standing desks

Many medical conditions are caused by unhealthy habits that we repeat over and over on a daily basis – and sitting is one of them. From lifestyle related diseases like diabetes and heart attacks to nagging neck and back pain from improper posture and work habits, sitting at a desk for hours at a time is especially bad for our health. 

Fortunately, as with many conditions the solution to sitting around is simply to stand up and be active, and many employees are beginning to see the benefits in promoting less sitting.

  • Office workers who stand regularly and take walks in between stretches of work have been found to have better circulation and even improved cognitive reasoning abilities
  • Health aside, the psychological benefits of taking a break from the office and embracing a healthier lifestyle are something that all organisations should be encouraging their workforce to enjoy. 

Standing workstations: ideal for hot desking

You may be wondering how you can integrate the benefits of standing desks into your workspace to create a healthier office space in the post COVID era. 

Hot desking is a new approach to a healthier office furniture layout that does away with assigned seating and lets office users move around and do their work where they feel most comfortable. 

This is especially helpful for companies that are adopting a hybrid working model with some employees working remotely some of the time. Standing desks can easily be integrated into a setup like this since desks are not assigned.

  • An office could have a variety of standing desks on hand for employees who would like to use them. Standing desks with wheels are especially useful in this regard because they can easily be moved around the office as needed.
  • Sit-stand desks are an alternative option to ‘standing’ hot desks. A sit-stand desk or stand converter enables employees to switch between standing and sitting, varying the posture throughout the day.
  • In addition to standing desks, companies are also investing in ergonomic office chairs, using exercise balls instead of seating, and even offering free gym and yoga memberships for their valued employees. 

Deciding which of these measures to implement in your business is a process that will require some planning and weighing up of the costs and benefits involved – and good health always pays dividends. 

Reopen your business with an emphasis on well-being

Companies across Cape Town are gearing up to go back to the office this year and next. If you’re one of those looking for a new commercial property in Cape Town with modern fittings and layouts that promotes well-being, our team of area specialists he’s ready to help. Contact us today to start searching for your ideal office space.

Image Credit: Höhenverstellbarer Schreibtisch von LEUWICO