Does your office have ‘sitting disease’?

Posted on: November 2, 2015

It’s no surprise: Most office workers sit for most of the day.

Of course, that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1970, only two out of 10 Americans worked at a desk. In 2003, six out of 10 used computers at their job, so they sat. And now, more than 10 years later, the average amount of time spent sitting is at the highest level ever—five hours a day. In fact, many adults spend a whopping 70% of their waking hours sitting, with little or no time exercising.

Bottom line: Too much sitting ­can lead to poor productivity.

Excessive desk time can lead to health problems: slower metabolism, higher cholesterol, and other health problems. When people spend too much time sitting, insulin levels drop, and that can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

A study in the Harvard Business Review found that after just one hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in our bodies declines by as much as 90%. “Excessive sitting is a lethal activity,” says James Levine, MD, PhD of the Mayo Clinic.

The solution: height-adjustable tables

Forward-thinking employers have found a solution in height-adjustable desks. This addition to the workplace lets employees turn office work into a form of light exercise. This can lead to health benefits, because standing burns 60 more calories per hour than sitting does.

And it leads to productivity gains, too. Research comparing height-adjustable desks to fixed desks found that office workers almost unanimously preferred height-adjustable desks—and employee productivity improved.

Alternating sitting and standing

Height-adjustable desks are best, since they let office workers stand when they want to and sit when they want to. And experts agree that this is the optimal solution for most office workers. In fact, they should stand at least once an hour to stretch and avoid back pain, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. A desk that can switch from standing height to sitting height makes that easiest, according to a Cornell University study. Plus, employees can focus better when they can easily and frequently change their working position.

Best of all, with an electric height-adjustable desk, employees can use memory buttons to save favorite positions. And new technology lets them track how often they adjust it and set goals and targets for movement.

Save the day!

So why not huddle with your managing director or HR director to discover how standing can improve firm-wide productivity and health issues. Remember that sitting less could positively affect a large firm’s insurance premium bottom line while contributing to a happier work environment!

To learn more about how to bring adjustable height desks into your work space, contact

Joy Newton-Grubb

For more than 40 years, Spacesaver Interiors has been the most trusted source of high-density shelving in the Washington, DC, metro area. Amy Hamilton, president of Spacesaver Interiors, and her expert team custom-design and install high-density storage for every conceivable type of market. Because of their long history in the business, they have experience developing storage solutions for many types of organizations including law firms, museums and police precincts.

Are you a design professional?

We can help you with specifications, provide comprehensive CAD drawings of solutions, and work with you to provide sustainable products to support your goal for LEED certification. We are happy to be an integral part of your team and meet with clients as much or as little as you would need.

Fill out the form to schedule
your brainstorming session today!