According to a study by researchers from Deakin University, workers who “use sit-stand desks at work might be able to live longer and be better placed to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
The study findings were published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.
Can sit-stand desks prevent diabetes?
Data from the study showed that standing up at a desk may offer greater health benefits for workers who usually sit for several hours a day. The researchers advised businesses to consider bringing in sit-stand desks that let individuals raise the desk so they can work even if they’re standing up.
For the study, researchers tracked more than 230 office workers to see if they would stand more when using the “specially adapted desk.”
The authors believe that using sit-stand desks in offices may save at least 7,492 “health-adjusted life years,” a measurement of the health of a population, through the prevention of conditions linked to obesity such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. (Related: Why the “healthy” life expectancy of Millennials is collapsing: Lack of exercise, horrible diets and bad posture.)
Dr. Lan Gao, the study’s lead researcher, explained that by implementing this workplace intervention, companies can also minimize absenteeism and boost employee productivity. He added, “The introduction of sit-stand desks, alongside associated supports, is a cost-effective and innovative way to promote the health of [a company’s] workforce.”
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Dr. Gao posited that sit-stand desks can make a “very significant and sustainable positive impact on reducing workplace sitting time.” He also believes that since the intervention is cost-effective, employers are more likely to consider implementing the program.
Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council reported that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with poor health, but there’s isn’t enough data to determine “a recommendation on how long people should spend standing per day.”
Tips for good posture
If you have good posture, the key parts of your body are properly “aligned and supported by the right amount of muscle tension.”
Proper posture is important because it can help maintain balance while you’re moving or exercising. It can also improve spine health. Additionally, proper posture can reduce strain on the body when moving or exercising and minimize the risk of muscle strain and overuse.
If you work in an office, chances are you sit for extended periods. You need to make sure that you maintain good posture. Misusing or overusing certain ligaments, muscles, or tendons can negatively affect your posture and back health.
Some positions are worse than others because they can overwork or misuse postural tissues, especially some sitting positions.
Prevent bad posture and keep your back healthy by avoiding these sitting positions:
- Keeping your arms, knees, or ankles crossed.
- Sitting for a long time in one position.
- Sitting in a position that doesn’t fully support the back, especially your lower back.
- Sitting slumped to one side with your spine bent.
- Straining your neck for a long time while looking at a monitor.
You can improve your sitting posture by:
- Customize your workspace by adding a footrest, wrist pad, or backrest.
- Keeping your monitor at arm’s length and less than two inches above your natural line of sight.
- Keep your keyboard and mouse close together so you don’t have to reach too far.
- Stand up and move around occasionally, especially if you feel muscle or joint pain.
- Use a headset for long calls to minimize neck strain.
- Use a standing desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing.
Once you get used to sitting in the proper position, check your posture every 10 to 15 minutes then correct any changes. Even if you have bad posture, you can correct it with constant practice and commitment.
You can read more articles with tips on how to prevent diabetes or manage its symptoms at DiabetesScienceNews.com.