Sitting down has always been a standard feature of working in any office environment, but studies released in the last few years have suggested that being seated for long periods of time can cause serious health issues in the long run, with even those who go to the gym still affecting their health while sat all day at work. Some offices have now changed their office interiors by ditching their old desks and chairs and replacing them with new raised ones which allow the worker to stand if they choose.
The research has been carried out by a number of diabetes and other health organisations as well as a few universities. One of the main studies by the Diabetes Group at the University of Leicester says, "while going to the gym or pool after work is better than heading straight for the sofa, spending a long time sitting down remains bad for you."
Changing to standing might seem simple, but in fact there are many considerations which must be taken which can add up to a lot of money, particularly in larger offices. It means redesigning all of the furniture we use, including desks, chairs and other office equipment, and it changing the whole routine and dynamic of how the office operates.
At the moment standard rows of desks have been a common design for office interiors, as this approach suits the employer by minimising the space needed but doesn't give workers enough space to operate or the privacy they often desire. Standing at work is claimed to help workers stay more focused and boost productivity.
One company who has already decided to make the change is VM Turbo, a software firm in Fleet, Hampshire. Their sales manager, Georgina Hurst said, We converted the office about eight or nine months ago. We removed the standard desks and put in 12 high tables. We're in a serviced office and asked them to remove the old desks. The new desks are at chest level and cost us 350 each.
"We do 150-200 calls a day per person. We decided that if we are standing, we'd be able to project our voices better. And so we decided it would be better to have these high tables. We started without any chairs but have now added high chairs as people may not want to stand all day. We probably stand 40% of the time, sit 30% and walk around the office 30% of the time. No-one has said they want to go back to the old desks since we converted the office."
But with prices of sit-stand desks usually at least two or three times the price of a standard one, its easy to see how changing an office with 1000 people or more could be a huge expenditure for little noticeable gain. But who knows, if more evidence continues to support standing over sitting, one day our offices could look and work in a very different way.
At Oaktree Interiors we provide full office refurbishments, new fits out and bespoke office interiors for both small and large companies. Whether you need a complete overhaul or just some cosmetic design, we can work with you to create a complete solution that works with your company and its employees.
We have over 30 years of experience working with all kinds of businesses in a huge variety of office spaces, and a team that covers every part of your project including the planning and designing stages right through to the final build.
To find out more about how we can transform your office interiors, get in contact with us by firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 474 3556.