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Stand up or sit down?

Posted by
17 Feb 2016

We recently had a conversation in the office about whether stand up desks and stand up meetings are beneficial and what their effectiveness is. I’ve also read an interesting article of an individual who changed their one to one team meetings from seated to standing ones. They found the length of their meetings was reduced considerably when standing up and that they were also kept focussed and to the point.

All this got me thinking about how much time people can spend sitting down during the day, particularly if you’re in a job that involves being seated for a large part of the time. It is said that many adults in the UK can spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, and at times this can even be as much as 10 hours or more particularly if you take into account other factors such as your daily commute – driving your car, travelling by bus or train, watching tv, sitting down to eat or read as well as many other seated activities.

Studies have indicated that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do. Sitting for long periods of time impacts the body’s metabolism, which in turn affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. If you do work in a role that this predominantly desk based and you’re sat down for too long, you can become lethargic and distracted. It is definitely beneficial to make sure you have regular periods of time where you get up from your desk and move about. As part of this you could also consider stand up meetings.

Here in the Liverpool office we recently trialled standing up for one of our twice daily team meetings for a week to see if we could feel the benefit from it. We did this for our early afternoon meeting and as well as re-energising us, we found that the stand up meetings were shorter and more concentrated. Standing helps improve posture, increases blood flow and steps up metabolism.

Stand up meetings are certainly useful when you want to keep the meeting short and succinct. They can help you feel re-energised, eliminate distractions such as checking your email and prevent people from going off the agenda. Perhaps you could trial standing up and see whether it works for you.

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