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Standing Desks Are A Load Of Rubbish (Says Research)

You might want to think twice about starting that lengthy HR process to get one of those standing desks "that's definitely going to sort out your health issues" - it turns out that they present no real benefits over the regular sitting option.

Researchers at the University of Exeter and University College London have undertaken a study of 16-years-worth of health data from 5,132 people - with particular focus on their working positions.

"Participants reported their total time sitting and how long they sat during four different situations: at work, watching television, leisure time and non-television leisure time. Researchers also tracked time spent walking daily and on physical activity," states the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

"After controlling for a number of factors, including diet and general health, researchers found the overall mortality risk for these participants wasn’t influenced by how long they sat or by the kind of sitting. And the researchers cautioned that too much emphasis on not sitting shouldn’t take the place of promoting physical activity."

Now sitting is bad for you - in the sense that if you're spending all day sitting around rather than being physically active, you're asking for a whole bunch of health problems linked to a lack of activity. However, to suggest that getting a standing desk is going to fix your lifestyle and any health problems you might be facing is a misnomer.

"Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself," said study author Melvyn Hillsdon of the University of Exeter. "Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing."

So if you're going to pester your bosses, don't bother asking for a standing desk. Best ask for five minute activity breaks during every hour you spend at your desk? Get a table tennis set, or a Wii. Or better still, ask for one of these...

[Via: Gizmodo]

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