Editor's Blog: Varidesk product review

Time to boost fitness levels using a height-adjustable standing desk? By Shirley Chisnall, Editor, QA Education magazine

The NHS website, www.nhs.uk, explains ‘Why sitting too much is bad for your health' and the general advice is that adults aged 19 to 64 should try to sit down less throughout the day, including at work – and when travelling to and from work – Jeremy Corbyn take note.

It’s not as if we’ve only just discovered the importance of being more active – according to the website the link between illness and sitting first emerged in the 1950s, when researchers found London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues.

Although we’re frequently urged to consume less sugar and take more exercise, it’s taking longer for designers to plan our schools and offices to meet the requirements to be less sendentary.

Some of the UK’s largest companies have taken steps to remove chairs from reception desks.

Customer service points too, are increasingly  managed by staff who are required to stand most of the time, while many supermarkets let employees choose whether to sit or stand at the checkout.

The fact remains that even if you proactively work on your fitness and go to the gym, or walk for 30 to 45 minutes a day, if you work in front of a computer screen and sit down the rest of the day you would still be categorised as having a ‘sedentary lifestyle’.

I was recently invited to test the Varidesk, a solution designed to fit on top of a standard desk which can easily be raised with a handle at each side to bring the computer to a convenient height to use when standing.

The Varidesk offers the option of sitting or standing at different times of the day - and apart from the health benefits, standing is known to improve concentration.

A height-adjustable desk set to transform the working environment, Varidesk point out that concentration often wanes as we mentally exhaust ourselves in our day by day jobs and as we sit, we become more tired and lose focus. 

Daydreaming, forgetting meetings and tasks becomes more common as we are mentally fatigued. Sitting all day has negative impacts on your mind, and can affect your performance at work.

You can combat this by simply adjusting your position whilst working throughout the work day and this can vastly improve your state of mind. Using a standing desk can help you fight out of the mental block you found yourself in. This can help you get back your focus and improve your productivity.

With a standing desk you can also burn up to an additional 50 calories per hour.

In the editorial department at Euromedia, we’re all keen to reap the benefits but we’re also perhaps a bit set in our ways. 

However, I really like the fact that when lowered the Varidesk has a raised platform that brings the computer screen to a convenient eye level. 

It is also excellent because it can be converted so easily, and raised and lowered, to add variety to the working day.

For standing to become a feature of the modern office environment the Varidesk is certainly a great option. Image removed.

Who knows as we get more used to standing at work perhaps we will also more readily adopt the advice to stand while we are chatting on the phone - and not spend too long on the sofa when we get home.

On an average day, we sit while driving to work, and even the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn apparently prefers to sit while commuting on the train, many people also sit at work for around 8 hours a day, and after another commute, then sit in front of the TV for on average 3 hours a night, before going to bed for 7 to 8 hours. 

It means although we are very busy and tired we just aren’t as active as we could be. 

Using a standing desk offers to break this cycle.

The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 costs £335 from Varidesk​. For more details http://uk.varidesk.com

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