Is Standing the New Sitting?

Office design is constantly evolving. It literally never stands still… New research and technologies offer us fascinating new perspectives in interior design.

In today’s office design landscape, employee wellbeing is a crucial consideration. The impact of design on people’s health is something that is without question changing commercial fit outs…

Sedentary lifestyles have long been a concern, for example. With office workers sitting at desks for many hours a day, it’s important to consider how such an environment might affect health.

Could sitting down at the job be on its way out? And how can interior design make a difference?

What are the facts?

UK research published this year shows that desk-sitting for long periods could eventually contribute to a range of illnesses.

For instance, if you spend 65-75% of the day sitting down, you are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Further to this, you have a 13% and 17% increased risk of cancer and mortality respectively.

Aside from these serious health risks, sitting down for hours on end could affect productivity levels. Plus the added cost of absenteeism could damage a business’s bottom line. Not risks worth taking…

Solving the problem

It’s inherent in British culture to invite people to ‘sit down’ or ‘take a seat.’ Perhaps this new research is an opportunity to re-think tradition? Or at the very least to give workers more options when working…

Of course, the issue is that we are not moving enough during the day – not ‘sitting down’ per se. So if you can encourage employees to be more active during a typical working day, that can only be a good thing.

What are your options? When planning a future fit out or refurbishment, it’s worth considering sit-stand workstations. The benefits to health – increased alertness, better posture and higher efficiency – could mitigate the cost of such a move.

Equally too, more sit-stand stools, jogging desks and activity rooms incorporated into commercial refurbishments are practical measures you have at your disposal to get workers on their feet.

Besides this, mobile technology offers choice – fitting in with agile working principles. It stands to reason… If staff aren’t tied to fixed desk stations, you can create a more flexible working culture.

Get your office fit out off on the right foot

Perhaps radical interior design concepts like this in Amsterdam could pave the way for new ways of working in the future. For now, it helps to blend best practice and practicality with vision.