There is considerable evidence to suggest that prolonged sitting is detrimental to health, even when people exercise regularly, increasing the risk of illness and disease. Conversely, there are many benefits to sitting less and moving more, including reduced risk of chronic diseases mentioned above, improved weight management and reducing the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
- The Heart Foundation’s advice for adults includes:
Take regular breaks from sitting to reduce the risk of chronic disease, including adults who exercise regularly. Encourage strategies at work to reduce sitting time and promote regular movement.
It is important to note the adults who engage in regular planned exercise can still sit for long periods during the day and therefore still need to consider standing benefits.
What can we do in the workplace to sit less and move more?
- Stand and take a break from your desk every 30 minutes
- Use stairs and not elevators
- Take standing breaks in long sitting meetings
- Stand to greet a visitor
- Stand for phone calls
- Walk to colleagues desk instead of phoning or emailing
- Use height adjustable desks
- Have standing meetings
- Have walking meetings
- Use headsets or speaker during teleconferencing enabling standing
- Eat your lunch away from your desk
- Stand at the back of the room during presentations
- Park the car further away from work
- Use active commuting to work( walk, ride your bike )
- Standing friendly culture can be promoted and supported in the workplace through raising awareness and modelling by managers/supervisors.
Criteria for receiving a sit/stand desk grant.
1. Staff should discuss their request with their manager/supervisor. Fac/Staff Health & Wellness Clinic has one in the office for everyone to try before buying.
2. Ensure there are no overhead shelves or storage hutches in the way of the desk performing in the stand mode. We have found that the Varidesk is a great model and prices range from $300-$600.
3. The Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness program offers grants in the amount of $125 for qualified requests towards the cost of a standing desk. It is the responsibility of the individual department to pay for the remainder and to decide whether the request for the desk is reasonable considering factors such as budgetary constraints, the person’s work tasks etc.
4. A limited number of grants will be given out per year so faculty and staff who have a medical issue will be eligible to receive a grant. Please have your doctor fax a medical referral for a standing desk with a diagnosis. There will be a limit of 12 per year granted.
5. Once a standing desk has been approved by the department they should email a request for budget transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the budget number and she will make the transfer.