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Growing popularity of special desk makes standing the new sitting

As an office worker, it’s easy to stay buried in your seat the whole day, glued to the computer screen, moving only for a brief bathroom break or to grab a coffee.

There’s increasing evidence, however, that such a sedentary lifestyle has an adverse affect on health, increasing the chances of suffering back problems or even contracting cancer.

The American College of Cardiology, for example, earlier this year published the results of a study that showed increased mortality among those who sat longer at home than those who didn’t.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that, in response to these health concerns, the ‘standing desk’ is rapidly becoming the workspace of choice among workers in Silicon Valley.

A growing number of Google and Facebook employees are among those who have decided to ditch the conventional sit-down desk and now spend their time standing up instead.

Facebook worker Greg Hoy, 39, has loved standing at his special desk since he received it seven months ago. “I don’t get the 3 o’clock slump anymore. I feel active all day long,” he told WSJ’s Jim Carlton.

According to officials at Facebook, there’s been a sharp rise in requests for the standing desk, with some 200-250 currently in use, which accounts for about 10 percent of the workforce there.

Taking things a step further, the social networking company is also testing out the use of a treadmill station where an employee can burn some calories while working at a computer. Whatever next? A multi-gym next to the copy machine?

Jordan Newman, a Google spokesperson, said that standing desks are offered as part of the company’s wellness program, and many workers there ask for them.

But you know how it is – even standing all day can cause the legs and back to start aching, which is why the standing desk also comes with a high stool, allowing you to mix things up a bit, if you wish.

If workers feel more motivated and energized with this new kind of desk, then there’s a good chance your boss may one day be coming up to you and asking: “Sitting or standing?” Not so sure about the treadmill idea though.

[Image: Jim Carlton]