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The state of the modern office. Are standing desks the complete answer ?

This article was published in the Guardian about 5 years ago.

But in many ways things haven't changed. I want to go over it briefly to provide you with an updated state of the modern office.

The article starts by talking about the impact of standing desks, sit stand desks height adjustable desks (call them what you will) on the modern office. It tracks the fact that offices were flooded with new standing desks until people started to raise queries over it was good for you to be standing all day. It seems having a sit stand desk was possibly detrimental to your health. If you were standing at a sit stand desk all day it was bad.

But the real point of the article was the need for "movement".

And the tools ( standing desks, height adjustable desks, riser desks. kneeling chairs) were just that. They were tools. They were tools you used to get active.

I feel this is often overlooked. As James Levine says in the article:

“It’s not the office furniture that makes the difference, it’s the behavior,” he said. “The standing desk without the behavior doesn’t help you.”

This hasn't changed since the article was written. Sometimes the standing desks get installed without the education that goes with it. You end up with a massive office full of standing desks and they are either not being used or they are being overused by a few. By overused , I mean, that a few people have their stand sit desk in a standing position ALL THE TIME which is not what they are designed for. They are designed to allow you to change position regularly. They are designed to allow you movement.

The article documents the writers journey to becoming more active at work. This might not be your journey but it shows a commitment to getting to the root of the problem. It doesn't just start with buying or installing stand sit desks and saying "that will do it" !!

And her summary is cool she says:

If you want to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of good habits, don’t start at the gym. Start at the office.

A builder can't work without good tools. And a stand sit desk or a riser desk or a kneeling chair may be the tools that you need to get active but the goal is not standing all day.

The goal is movement.


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