A vast number of Americans spend their entire day in an office, sitting in front of
a computer screen while they work. But as research continues to emerge, more
and more offices are seeing ergonomic changes becoming mainstream and widely
acceptable. We’re tired of Americans being dubbed “lazy” and “fat,” and something’s
got to change if we’re going to shake that label.
Sitting all day, even if you exercise regularly, is harmful to your health. After an hour
or more of sitting, the production of fat-burning enzymes begins declining rapidly,
sometimes getting cut up to 90 percent. That means that while you’re busy sitting,
your body isn’t burning fat the way it should. Sitting also slows down your body’s
metabolism of glucose and reduces good cholesterol, which means you’re more at
risk for developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
So, what is the average office-working American do? We still need to work, but we
shouldn’t have to face such dire health concerns just to make a living. The answer
is in ergonomic office design. According to Dr. James A Levine of the Mayo Clinic,
ergonomic offices, once seen as odd and unique, are “totally mainstream now.” He
adds, “There’s been an explosion of research in this area because the healthcare
cost implications are so enormous.”
It’s not uncommon to see ergonomic keyboards, mice, and chairs; but further, than
that, adjustable workstations are now becoming popular. Workers can sit or stand
throughout the day, and some desks even have a treadmill underneath so employees
can walk while working.
Over the past five years, Steelcase, a giant in office furniture production, has seen its
adjustable desk and treadmill desk sales go up by five hundred percent. And while
Steelcase is certainly the most prestigious maker of ergonomic stations, its prices
ranging from about $1,600 to over $4,000, many smaller companies are catching on
as well. One, Ergo Desktop, sells adjustable desks ranging from $260 to $600.