From a large international company to a Shropshire husband and wife working from home, the health benefits of standing desks are now being widely recognised in this country.
Specialist office furniture supplier Chrisbeon of Telford and Shrewsbury is experiencing an increasing order book from many different British customers for their Varidesk standing work station which allows users to stand as well as sit whilst working.
New medical guidance recommends that office workers should abandon their chairs for half their working day. And according to Professor John Buckley, lead author of the new guidance: “What may be most shocking is that irrespective of your level of physical activity, prolonged sedentary working leads to a significant increase in the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, depression and muscle and joint problems.”
Kathryn Humphrey, 51, a Digital Marketing Developer at Shrewsbury-based Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd which has already bought a total of 11 Varidesks from Chrisbeon, has only had her manually adjustable sit-stand desk for a few weeks, but she has already noticed a significant health difference.
She explained that she had various long term problems with her back and suffered a lot of lower back pain. “Sitting all day at a desk for work meant I previously got very stiff and would find difficulty straightening up when I first stood.
“Having a stand-up desk has enabled me to gradually increase the amount of time I stand during the day and adopt a better body position while working which benefits my back.
“I now have far less back pain and am building up better supporting muscles which is brilliant for my long term health. It really is easy to swap from standing up to sitting down if I feel tired, but I am able to stand for much longer periods than I ever thought possible.”
She added: “I also feel more energised which is carrying through into my home life as well. I definitely feel I have more energy at the end of the day. And I am nowhere near as stiff as I was.”
Lorane Scott, a Supply Planner for Dechra Pharmaceuticals Plc, also of Shrewsbury, has spent a week a month for the last six years at their central distribution hub in Denmark where 100% of office workers – compared to one percent of British workers – have stand up desks. “They take office ergonomics very seriously over there.
“Stand up desks are wonderful because they are easy to use – you only have to press a button to adjust the desk to the height required. It feels so natural to use and stand for four to five hours a day which is good for the posture. I am far less listless at the end of the working day.
“I have been saying for years that there is certainly a health benefit to getting up and moving around and it was a good call by this business to start investing in stand up desks.”
Shifnal husband and wife Chris and Sue Blake, who have quite different jobs and pastimes that require using a computer on a regular basis, visited the Chrisbeon showroom at Stafford Park where they were given a demonstration by partners Richard and Craig Hughes.
The couple, who have been Chrisbeon customers for 20 years, purchasing stationery and sometimes office furniture, said they had previously heard of the Varidesk, but hadn’t seen one.
“We took a liking to them and purchased two,” said Chris, a driving instructor. ”As a result, the Varidesk has totally revolutionised our work from home.
“We spend many hours at our desks each week and where previously we would frequently stand up to get the circulation back and stop feeling physically irritable, we can now work happily for long periods of time, confident in the benefits of standing at our desks.”
Said Sue, a piano teacher who also edits a local parish magazine on computer at home: “When faced with a big project to complete, we no longer dread the thought of all those hours sitting down, but now face it with renewed vigour.
“The Varidesk has the added advantage of being at the right height if, for example, you just want to check emails. If we prefer to sit we can lower the desks and work with ease – still confident that we are working healthily with a good posture.”
Added Chris, who also prints out orders of service for weddings: “An anti-fatigue mat is also essential to cushion and support. We would certainly recommend these aids to healthy working to others.”
Said Richard Hughes: “We believe the demand for height adjustable standing desks will continue to increase as more and more office workers experience their value in terms of the drive to promote physical movement in the workplace.
“They are most definitely catching on, as evidenced by the Dechra order, and very shortly there will be even more choice of entry level and executive electric sit-stand desks to further improve health benefits.”
Prices for an electric height adjustable sit-stand desk start at £417 plus VAT or £245 plus VAT for the manual sit-stand workstation that converts any existing desk. Further information can be obtained through www.chrisbeon.co.uk or telephoning 01952 292606.