The luxury of standing
03/11/2014 - 23:37

The world has turned upside down in many ways during the last fifty years. One of them is that standing and mobility in general have become a luxury a few of us can afford.

It used to be the other way round. The first chairs we know of are those used by the Egyptian pharaohs. In those days normal households rarely had chairs and if they did, they were only used by the head of the family.

A chairman who chaired a meeting was the special person of authority who was given a seat. The others were left standing. This was back in the 17th century.

But something remarkable happened about fifty years ago. Ordinary people started having televisions and cars and most of them started working in offices. The luxury item, a chair, was suddenly available for everyone and we were encouraged to sit on it as much as possible. Even at Martela, we offered solutions minimising the need to move during the working day.

Today we all know the drawback. We are sitting too much and it’s slowing down our metabolism and making our backs ache. Even though we are eating less and exercising more than ever, we are getting fatter and less healthy. That’s because in between the eating and exercising we stay totally immobile on our seats.

The solution to the problem sounds quite easy – we should sit less. But do a test, try and spend an average working day limiting your total sitting time to let’s say, six hours. It’s not easy. Everything around us makes us sit: work, car, television. In our world, standing has become a luxury!

However, let us not fall into despair. If we really want to, we can stand. All it needs, is a little creativity. here are a few tips:

  1. Stand up every time a phone rings and walk to a more quite place to talk.
  2. Take the stairs.
  3. If you have a possibility to use a standing desk, use it.
  4. Use standing tables also in meetings, if possible.
  5. Walk to your colleague instead of using e-mail.
  6. Try to stand up, even for a moment, every half an hour.
  7. Sit on a gym ball while watching television or even better, skip the television and go for a walk instead.
  8. Cycle, walk or use public transport instead of driving whenever possible.

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Workday designer
Workday Designers
VP, Customer Supply Management
Martela Oyj
Director, Education
Vice President, Innovation to Market

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