It seems like not a day goes by without an article appearing somewhere warning us of the dangers of sitting down for long periods. We’ll put on weight, get diabetes, bust our back, ruin our heart, and apparently greatly increase our chances of dying from just about every disease and condition known to man.
Worryingly, research has shown that even regular exercise fails to offset much of the internal damage caused by prolonged sitting, suggesting that for the millions of people with, for example, office-based jobs, the only solution is to ask the boss to install a standing desk in the hope that we might be able to avoid an early grave.
Of course, standing all day is also going to do your back in and put painful pressure on other joints as well, so the obvious solution is to switch between sitting and standing as you go through the day.
Whereas early standing desks from furniture firms were just that – for standing only – more recent additions to the market let you easily adjust the height of the desktop with the simple press of a button, meaning you don’t have to rearrange your stuff or waste time moving between a sitting desk and a standing one.
IKEA is the latest company to enter the market with a convenient adjustable option, and its reasonable $489 price tag means it may just prove a hit with health-conscious folk looking for a nifty solution for their home or office set-up.
The Bekant sit-stand desk, whose height can be adjusted by pressing a conveniently located button, comes in various designs that include a regular rectangular top or a corner unit.
Several Silicon Valley-based firms were among the first companies to offer employees the option of working at a standing desk, Google and Facebook among them. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has also tested treadmill workstations where employees can enjoy a brisk stroll while planning the social networking giant’s next move, though it’s not clear if these have caught on.