Healthy Desk for Working: Sitting, Standing or Treadmill?

by Head Health Nutter on July 17, 2015

As the 21st century progresses, there seems to be a growing number of office/desk jobs across the world. If you think that this might be one of the reasons why the general health of the human race is deteriorating, then please continue reading today’s guest post by Andrew Hoffman!

A new study in United States says that office workers should spend at least three hours on their feet while working — though four hours would be better – to avoid the serious health consequences including disability that come with too much sitting as we age. The study said people working in offices spend approximately 70-80 per cent of their work day in their seats while sitting at their desks. The study creators called for changes in the work environment including time for a walk and workspaces intended for standing.


Are Standing Desks Helpful?

Taking into the health consideration, a new innovation, standing desks came into action and a lot of companies chose to provide their employees with standing workspaces. “Standing desks may help in burning few calories but are they also helpful in losing weight, enhance metabolism." say health specialists. Standing for a long time can also cause backaches, curvature of the spine and swollen veins, therefore, it is not the desired solution.

Calories Burned & Physical Exertion Ratio

There is no question that sitting desks are the most harmful but are standing desks of any help? The whole idea of staying healthy while working can be considered useful if you are burning calories. The difference in the statistics of burning calories & physical exertion between sitting and standing is approximately negligible. The ratio of burning calories & physical exertion of sitting to standing is 1.3 : 1 (Metabolic Equivalent). In this case, treadmill desks stand out because when a person walks while working then the ratio of burning calories and physical exertion of treadmill desk to sitting desk is 4:1 (Metabolic Equivalent).

Comparing the Three Desks

The difference in sitting to standing desks is so little that it wouldn’t have much effect on weight loss; however, treadmill desks certainly do. People who, even on a regular basis, go running or are members of fitness clubs & gyms are not as healthy as they believe because realistically, the amount of time available to them for physical activities after work hours is barely 1-2 hours. Ask yourselves: will an hour workout compensate for the calories gained by sitting or standing 8 hours a day? The answer is probably no.

Are Employers Concerned about the Health of their Employees?

This is an imperative thought that every employer must take into account. Technologies and ideas have provided us with a great innovation of walking desks, bike desks, though we are not emphasizing on it. Our work culture is designed in such a way that we are bound to stay at our desks for a long time, therefore, it should be priority for companies to view their employees as their best asset and try to incur treadmill desks at workplace so that they stay healthy. Our society was born hypocrite because it is acceptable for people to take a 10 minutes smoke break but not a 10 minute walk break.

Work Live Walk: The New Anthem

People agree that they should promote movement but they also think that their employers won’t agree with them if they are away from their desks, therefore, employers should promote the approach of walking while working as it would be the perfect solution for both parties. Work Live Walk was started with an aim to spread awareness about health issues due to sitting desks, faced by people working in offices and therefore the concept of treadmill desks was launched and promoted to make sure employees lead a healthy life at work.

A person needs to work for a living but for healthy living one must walk. Think like this – Your heart runs 24*7*365 without stopping, just do it a favor by walking because it will keep it healthy. Many companies are teaming up with Work Live Walk to make sure that their employees stay fit, lose weight, reduce muscle pain and enhance metabolic capacity by walking throughout the day at work without compromising productivity.

About the Author

Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA. He has written for a wealth of high-profile clients including Demand Media. In his spare time, he enjoys physical fitness, gardening, and interior design. You can get in touch with him on Google+.

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