Health and wellbeing are rightfully being seen as matters of increased importance in workplaces throughout the country; however it seems we still may not be doing enough. This is according to the newly published results of Ergotron’s JustStand Index, which explores the negative health ramifications of the current office setup with a particular emphasis on the overly-sedentary lifestyle many such spaces apparently encourage.

The true severity of the issue is made fully apparent in the index, which reveals that the average UK office worker spends as much as 87% of their working day sat down. That equates to at least six hours of uninterrupted sitting time per day, with many getting up only for the occasional drink or bathroom visit.

Key findings highlighted by the JustStand Index include the revelation that while 84% of UK employees surveyed believed that there is indeed a connection between too much time spent sitting and a heightened chance of early mortality, only 43% indicated that they were familiar with ‘sitting disease’ – a term coined by the scientific community and commonly used in reference to metabolic syndrome and the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore less than a quarter of respondents considered themselves to be at risk even though they admitted to spending at least 75% of their working day sitting down.

Somewhat telling is the fact that of the 58% who said they were unfamiliar with sitting disease, almost 30% of this group still feared they were at risk due to their working conditions.

Mr Pete Segar, CEO of global technology furniture manufacturer Ergotron, commented, “This recent survey shows that, despite widespread knowledge of the myriad of health issues caused by extended sitting at work, many workers in the UK, Germany and France are still unaware of sitting disease, and spend on average 75% of their work day sitting. Why is this?  My belief is that it is a combination of workplaces still not providing sit/stand desks for their workers, and poor workplace design for those that do have sit/stand desks.

“The cost of unwell workers has skyrocketed to 10-15% of global economic output and this figure will continue to climb unless employers stop viewing health and wellbeing in the workplace as an ‘add-on’ and start thinking about embedding it into the fabric of the organisation. At Ergotron, we are focused on delivering affordable, ergonomic sit/stand desks that are comfortable and easy to move between sitting and standing positions.”

Meanwhile Dame Carol Black, DBE, FRCP, said of the results, “There is much evidence on the harms of physical inactivity and the sedentary life, and on the benefits of being active during working age. The evidence shows an association between sedentary behaviour and overweight and obesity, with some research suggesting that sedentary behaviour is independently associated with all-cause mortality, type-2 diabetes, some types of cancer and metabolic dysfunction.  These relationships are independent of the level of overall physical activity.  For example, spending large amounts of time being sedentary may increase the risk of some health outcomes, even among people who are active at the recommended levels.

“For these reasons, in addition to regular physical activity the Chief Medical Officers of the United Kingdom recommends that all adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary for extended periods.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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