Should office workers spend more time standing up?

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It's a fact that many people in the UK live a very sedentary life because they spend large chunks of their days sat down at work.

Of course, some will argue that still leaves plenty of time for Brits to be as active as they wish during their free time, and that it's their responsibility to be healthy and get enough exercise.

But that's not to say that employers can't still play a part in supporting their staff's overall health and tackling conditions such as back pain and obesity.

After all, they will directly benefit if they have a workforce that is fit, energised and taking fewer days off sick. So there's a clear case for taking positive steps on this issue.

One option open to them is not forcing members of staff to sit down at their desks for the whole of the working day.

Carrie Schmitz of Ergotron is one person who believes desk-based workers should make a point of getting up frequently and moving around more in the office.

Speaking to the Telegraph, she also suggested using a sit-stand workstation so people stand up every half hour or so.

"Even if you go to the gym on a daily basis and do 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, you still cannot undo the damage done by sitting for eight, nine or ten hours per day," she commented.

Ms Schmitz went on to state that moving around can do more than reduce the chance of employees getting back problems.

"Standing doesn’t just hit the reset button on your body, it does the same for your mind too," she said.

"By increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain, standing can enhance brain function."

Jenkin Au, product manager at furniture manufacturer Steelcase in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is another keen advocate of standing up at work.

He pointed out that while the evolution of technology and changing work styles have transformed the way in which people work, these innovations have also put a greater strain on employees' bodies.

"Sitting statically all day can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as creating tension in our backs," he observed.

"Compounded with these health issues, workers seated in poorly designed chairs are also more focused on their discomfort, meaning they are less focused on their work."

Ergonomics and employee health should be two major considerations when businesses are kitting out or redesigning their offices.

If it leads to healthier and more motivated workers and less absenteeism, it's a win-win scenario for everybody.