A recent survey by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has proven that sitting for longer periods of time increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Even employees who exercise regularly are putting themselves at risk by staying put at their desk. The longer you sit, the higher the risk of mortality, another Canadian study has shown.
Not only is sedentary behaviour linked to shorter life expectancy, but standing also burns calories. By working and standing for an extra three hours a day, employees can burn an additional fifty calories an hour, which over the course of a year amounts to running ten marathons.
Do computer users die younger?
So does all this mean the digital native generation will die younger than manual labourers? A Danish study of life expectancies in different occupations has shown that high-level, salaried company employees actually have a longer healthy life than farmers and unskilled workers.
Manual, unskilled workers in the UK die seven years younger than non-manual workers that have studied.
Given the time it takes to complete a third-level education, seven years of extra life seems a fair trade-off. When it comes to living a long, healthy life, the more you know, the better.
Get up off that chair and live longer
Marc Zuckerberg has secured 350 standing desks for Facebook employees, with more standing spaces being added. Several other Silicon Valley companies like Google and Twitter are also making it possible for their employees to stand at work.
Tech companies aren’t the first businesses to fit their offices with standing desks. 19th century desk work was often conducted from a standing position. Winston Churchill, who lived to the age of 90, was a strong advocate of the standing desk, as were Ernest Hemingway, Otto von Bismarck and Benjamin Franklin.
With new furniture designs like the Stand Desk Kickstarter project rapidly gaining popularity, the standing desk has the potential to go mainstream once again.
“Sitting at work is the new passive smoking,” Masoud Kamali, CEO of S&S Media, recently announced to all WebMagazin staff. “In 50 years time, it will no longer be accepted that people sit at a desk all day long.”
So if you’ve read this far and you’re still sitting, you only have yourself to blame.