Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Should office workers stand rather than sit?

"Sitting is the the smoking of our generation", according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. Not only is it bad for your health, but it decreases productivity: "I suspect advances in office furniture are the main reason productivity stubbornly fails to improve. With everyone sitting so comfortably, there is never any great rush to get things done", writes Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times. But reducing the amount of time office workers sits is a huge challenge: It means rethinking architecture, disrupting traditional work patterns, and may involve considerable costs. Sit-stand desks are an obvious solution, but they are not cheap, and many employers treat investments in better workplaces as a cost rather than an investment.

AMA director Alexi Marmot, a specialist on workplace design and a UCL Bartlett Professor, was interviewed about this by the BBC. She commented "if what we are creating are environments where people are not going to be terribly healthy and suffering from diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is highly unlikely the organisation benefits."

Read the entire BBC article here,  or listen to the interview here or live on BBC Radio 4 next Monday, 21 April, at 21:00.

Sitting as the norm in workplaces is a recent innovation.
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