Sitting is the new smoking: a plea for standing desks

Apr 17, 2016


New health trends are all over the place. Decrease your sugar intake. Increase your exercise. Avoid carbohydrates. That’s what experts like the World Health Organization, FOD Volksgezondheid and Pascale Naessens are telling you to do.

Lately, one topic in particular has been getting more and more attention: sitting. We are all sitting too much and for too long.


Sitting is harmful to your body

As the Dutch saying goes: “stagnation is like going backwards”. It’s the same story when it comes to sitting and your health: sitting on the same seat too long causes your health to deteriorate. A growing body of scientific research shows clear causality between sitting and diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. With these unhealthy side effects in mind, you can truly consider sitting to be the new smoking. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for people to kick a sedentary lifestyle.

Sitting at work

This is especially a problem when you have a job where you sit behind a desk all day long. A career in the IT sector is a good example of a job in which sitting is generally part and parcel of the work routine. Of course, there’s sitting and then there’s sitting sitting. The tips to avoid sitting sitting are pretty straightforward: get a cup of coffee, take a bathroom break, walk to the printer, etc. But in practice, you often really want to focus on a task. In this case, taking a walk from time to time is just not an option.

Standing desks

Today, most companies still opt for traditional desks, which is a real pity. It gives employees no choice but to sit down for the entire day. Bucking this trend, Delaware Consulting has chosen to install stand-up desks in its new Ghent office. If you feel like your joints and muscles are rusting as you sit in your chair, you can move to a standing desk for a couple of hours. Stand-up meetings are also possible, as there are multiple meeting rooms equipped with standing desks. This innovation is one that can genuinely contribute to the well-being of all Delawareans. Delaware doesn’t only offer innovative technologies to its customers – it also provides an innovative work environment to its employees.

Just do it

Does tour current workday feature 8 straight hours of sitting? Give standing up a chance! When you quit smoking, you don’t necessarily have to do it cold turkey, and the same goes for sitting. Just move to a standing desk for one hour a day to break the habit.

Don’t be afraid to stand up and take an oath to stand up a bit more!

Author: Christophe Parmentier. You can connect with Christophe on LinkedIn.