A traditional working day from 9 to 5 in an office space: sitting on a chair, in front of your laptop. In many work cultures this is much worse, like in the office spaces in the financial district of Frankfurt or Wall Street. The working days here are much longer than 8 hours a day. This traditional way of working is being replaced by the new ‘flexible’ way of working. Such as flexible working hours and workplaces. In addition to the rise of more flexible working, there is also a trend towards ‘active working’. Research shows that working all day while seating is not good for your health. More and more alternatives are emerging, such as working at a stability ball and working while standing at your desk. This blog discusses the disadvantages of working in a seated position and highlights the alternatives.

Disadvantages of working in a seated position 

With a full-time job, you work 40 hours a week, and if this job means working behind a desk, you’ll be in your office chair for at least 30 hours a week. This has several drawbacks. Research has shown that sitting all day is particularly disadvantageous for women. A link has been discovered between sedentary work and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease for women. Furthermore, research shows that people who have a non-sitting job and an active life, have a lower risk of premature death. There is also an increased risk of back pain if you sit too long and too much. Enough reasons to get out of your office chair and adapt to a new way of working.

Working on a stability ball 

If we have to believe a large group of physiotherapists, you have to swap your office chair for a stability ball. On a stability ball, you would constantly correct your posture and thus adopt to the best position. On top of this, you also keep your muscles in motion constantly, so that you remain active while sitting. However, there is still insufficient evidence that a stability ball really works. It has not yet been shown that more muscles are activated when you work on a stability ball than when you work on a normal office chair. On top of that, most people who have participated in research of the effect of working on a stability ball, experience it as unpleasant. A stability ball is therefore not a good alternative to an office chair. Mostly because it is not good for productivity and concentration of the employee.

Working in a standing position

It may look a little weird at the beginning when you suddenly stand at your office desk, but try to get used to it. First you need an adjustable/electric desk for this. Working in a standing position increases your focus, because your muscles are always tensed and you experience less fatigue. Furthermore, standing up is good for your back muscles and improves your posture. You also have a more active posture while standing and it is easier to take a quick walk around, which in turn is conducive to your daily movement needs. But there are also disadvantages to working in a standing position. Standing up all day can be very tiring, and this also affects your productivity after a while. The most effective working position is therefore a combination of sitting and standing.

The solution: rent an office with electric desks

Sitting for a long time is not good for your health, but standing for a long time is not conducive either. The perfect working position is the combination between sitting and standing. Adjustable/electric desks are not that expensive anymore. Besides that, in many business centers the offices spaces are already included with at an electric desk. This is the case for many business centers in Brussels.

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