The Guardian have published a lengthy first person account of one writer’s lifetime struggle with back pain. The editorial in their ongoing “the long read” blog details writer Maggie O’Farrell’s reflections on living with chronic pain from spinal injury for many years.
An excerpt on Maggie’s life changing back pain;
“Don’t get me wrong: I consider myself to be an extremely lucky person. The doctors first said that I would die; when I didn’t, they said I wouldn’t walk again. To have recovered, to have found a loophole out of one of these destinies, let alone both, strikes me as the very best fortune a person could ever have.”
You can read Maggie's full editorial here.
Now we understand Maggie’s back pain is a result of injury and her telling of it brings to light one primary fact for us here at I Want A Standing Desk UK Blog. That fact is that back pain IS HORRIFIC to live with. Readers of Spine-Health.com voted back pain as being more painful that childbirth.
Now we can’t make every floor not slippery and we can’t wave a magic want to eliminate back pain from injury in fact the elderly have shown us that most people will suffer from it at some point in their lives. However we can suggest to you that some of you are getting back pain from sitting way too much. We know many of you sit for 9 and half hours a day. In the UK alone back pain is the single most common cause of lost working days, with the costs running into billions of pounds. Each year 2 million people attend their General Practitioners with spinal problems and over 300,000 are referred for specialist care.
Lee Barker who is the principal physiotherapist at Alderbank Physiotherapy, in Grimsargh, near Preston, and was a member of the Olympic Physiotherapy Team 2012 explains here that standing up isn’t just good for your general health it is great for your back. He writes that the body was not designed to sit for such lengthy periods but we need to take the pressure off our vertebrae and reduce strain by standing more.
MD of iwantastandingdesk.com Nick White said “back problems are life stoppers (short and long term). Why wait to start looking after your lower back until you have a problem? People need to spend less time in the chair and more time stood correctly to feel the benefits immediately.”
Business insider writer Mathew DeBord this week has written about his change to a standing desk after a lifetime of sitting. He fashioned a home-made standing desk to test the process before he opts for a better more rigid solution. Now we see these all the time on social media, these are the modern equivalent of the breeze block bookshelf. However even with a modest setup the benefits were convincing for Mathew.
Mathews make-shift standing desk. Read Mathews full account here.
He writes about how using an Apple watch he is able to keep ahead of his standing reminders which new research has shown can add two years to your life expectancy.
“It's been a few months and I haven't looked back.”
Abraham The Pharmacist has created a video after using the Eiger standing desk
If you see an interesting account of someone talking, writing about or solving their problems with a standing desk please tweet it to us at @standingdeskuk
DIGITAL marketing worker Craig Freeman, 31, is from Reigate in the UK. Craig trialled a standing desk for just one week for an article in a national newspaper.
In just one week he saw benefits. His blood pressure was above normal before the test and within normal limits after.
This is what he said...“Having spent the past week standing in an office full of 20 other people sitting, I’ve actually really enjoyed it – despite the stick I’ve been getting!
“It felt most beneficial mid-morning and late afternoon. Those are the times I feel like I need a stretch when I’m sitting at a desk.
“I normally suffer from back pain but, after a week of standing, it’s felt better. I’ve felt more productive, too.
“It’s good to know I will be burning more calories if I keep standing at my desk.”
So there it is straight from a normal guy in an every day office. The benefits are there for everyone. Let's spend less time in the chair and more time active working.
Standing desks work!
Today we were invited by DELL EMC UK education department to join their road show in Manchester and showcase the new EIGER Junior standing desk to their customers.
IT and EIGER'S work perfectly together especially with the latest Dell Chromebooks that were on display.
IT and sitting are in the DNA of most people and this needs to change.
Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a new generation of children entering the workplace knowing that using technology doesn't mean sitting all day.
Children are entering a “tragic decline” from the age of just seven, with activity levels dropping long before they leave primary school, new research suggests.
Fitness experts said British pupils were entering a state of digital dependence which would shorten lives, with sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm long before children reached adolescence. The Gateshead Millenium Cohort study tracked more than 500 children for eight years, with trackers measuring activity levels.Until now, efforts to improve uptake of sport and fitness have assumed that the significant slump in activity comes with puberty, especially with girls.
But the new study shows a sharp drop in activity levels between the ages of seven and nine, among boys and girls, with a decline continuing into adolescence.
At the age of seven, the average boy was moderately or vigorously active for one hour 15 minutes a day, the study found, dropping to one hour 10 minutes by the age of nine, and just an hour by the age of 12. By the age of 15, the figure is just 51 minutes, the research shows.
Seven-year-old girls had such activity levels for 63 minutes a day, dropping to 56 minutes by the age of nine, and 47 minutes by the age of 12. At 15, the average girl is active for just 41 minutes daily, the tracking devices found.
Much of the damage was caused because of the amount of time children spent on smartphones and computers, as well as being driven to school instead of walking, experts said.
Jack Shakespeare, Head of ukactive Kids, said: “Physical inactivity is society’s silent killer and the biggest tragedy is that it’s creeping up on our children before they’ve even left the playground.”
While extra funding for school sport was welcome, he said a wider “cultural shift” was needed to protect an inactive generation from a lifetime of health problems.
“It’s not just a case on buying more bats and balls for the PE cupboard, we have to embrace creative solutions and look at how we harness our digital dependence to build movement back into children’s lives, instead of taking it away,” he said.
And that’s where we step in with our EIGER Junior Standing Desk. To have a new generation of UK children going through education knowing there is a healthy alternative to the chair will have major benefits both short term and long term.
If sitting is the new smoking and inactivity a serious global health problem why do we make our children sit down for 4.5 hours every school day?
Even a single workout could be good for the heart. That’s the conclusion of a fascinating new study in mice that found that 30 minutes on a treadmill affects gene activity within cardiac cells in ways that, over the long haul, could slow the aging of the animals’ hearts.
Although the study involved mice, the results may help to explain just how, at a cellular level, exercise improves heart health in people as well.
There’s no question that, in general, physical activity is good for hearts. Many studies have found that people who regularly exercise are much less likely to develop or die from cardiac disease than people who are sedentary.
Exercise is known to improve our blood pressure, pulse rate and cholesterol profiles, all of which are associated with better cardiac health.
Every 3 minutes in the UK someone is struck by a heart attack - www.bhf.org.uk
Standing increases the average persons heart beat by 10 beats a minute which improves health and increases brain function.
Just another great reason to get using a standing desk on a daily basis.
More than 20 million people in the UK are physically inactive, according to a report by the British Heart Foundation.
The charity warns that inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and costs the NHS around £1.2bn each year.
Harriet Mulvaney experienced a heart attack at 44 and decided to make changes to her lifestyle. "Looking back on it now I would say I was very inactive. I thought I was active but actually I think I was just busy," she says.
Women are 36% more likely than men to be classified as physically inactive - 11.8 million women compared with 8.3 million men.
The report defines "inactive" as not achieving the government guidelines for physical activity of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and strength activities on at least two days a week.
Harriet had a busy life as an HR consultant, driving an hour to work and then sitting at a desk for eight to 10 hours a day.
She would then be busy with family life but didn't make time for activity or exercise.
"I just thought it was one of those things I'd get to in another point in time," she says.
The BHF analysis found that the average man in the UK spends a fifth of his lifetime sitting - equivalent to 78 days a year. For women, it is around 74 days a year.
Another reason to consider a standing desk as a superb way to improve your health whilst you're working - it's a no-brainer!
Today we were invited to attend Yorkshire Sport Foundation's conference on improving pupil attainment by improving pupil health...sounds sense.
Activity experts from UK Universities Leeds Beckett and Loughborough were some of the keynote speakers.
2 points which made real impact were...
1: For any learning environment to be effective the brain needs to be stimulated but when we sit down the blood supply slows down impeding cognitive performance. Increase the blood supply by moving (the heart rate increases) and so does the brains performance. ..concentration,focus and behaviour levels increase and improve.
Studies tell us that the average student will lose classroom attention after around 20 minutes. Most lessons last around 45 minutes!
2: Studies show us that children are inactive in 2 key areas - at home in the evening and in the classroom. On average we make kids sit down for 4.5 hours every school day. It therefore makes total sense to look to include ways we can make the classroom sensibly active - standing desks are one of the workable solutions.
Today's kids are the least active in history - www.designedtomove.org
It was a great day and we'll be blogging more about the problems, solutions and impact over the coming days.
In the summer of 2015 a researcher from Oxford University worked with pupils from Year 5 at Christ the King Primary School in Reading (UK) to investigate the effect of PE and activity on concentration levels in the classroom.
There is a well known and established link between playtime and subsequent levels of concentration. Briefly, researchers have shown that if children have an active playtime they concentrate better in their next lesson. When Christ the King were approached to take part in this study they were interested to see if there were any implications for the frequency, the pattern and the nature of both playtimes and PE lessons. If having more play and PE, or more active play and PE, could be shown to help children do better in class then they might change daily routines and methods.
In this study a number of the children were asked to wear electronic devices to measure their activity throughout the day. The researcher spent two weeks in the classroom observing the children; she watched them working both before and after breaks and PE; she also asked both the children themselves and their teacher about their work.
This was only a small scale study, but the conclusion was clear that PE and activity does have a beneficial effect on concentration.
A bit more more evidence about how activity in learning environments has a positive impact and how EIGER Junior standing desks can play a part.
Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain's natural decline as we enter middle age.
Dr Justin Varney, lead for adult health and wellbeing at Public Health England, has said any physical activity was good for brain and body.
"Whilst every 10 minutes of exercise provides some benefit, doing 150 minutes a week cuts the chances of depression and dementia by a third, and boosts mental health at any age."
Of course included in that is standing more and sitting less. Using a standing desk increases the heart rate and therefore blood flow to the brain. This results in more oxygen.
The UK is now one of the world's most inactive countries in the world...let's start the change and become more every day active!
Today we had a fantastic meeting with The Youth Sport Trust in the Entrepreneurial Spark Business Hub in central Manchester. It is a UK national charity creating solutions that improve health, attendance and academic achievement in primary and secondary schools for young people from 18 months to 18 years.
In 2016 The Youth Sport Trust gave…
- 834,083 young people direct opportunities to participate in high quality and inclusive PE and sport.
- 129,553 young people training opportunities which included coaching, officiating and volunteering.
- 34,446 members of the school workforce were given continuous professional development training.
We talked and agreed how our EIGER Junior Standing Desks can play an important part to both improving the academic classroom environment whilst increasing significantly students every day activity levels.
Children are inactive in classroom environments for around 4.5 hours every school day and then spend up to a further 7 hours inactive in front of some form of personal device. According to Nike's Designed to Move campaign, today's children are the first generation on course to have a life expectancy 5 years less than their parents because of inactivity.
With the help of The Youth Sport Trust and our EIGER Junior Standing Desks we aim to make the UK's classrooms and children, healthier and more productive.
The trouble with health warnings – the latest of which comes from the British Heart Foundation, suggesting that 20 million UK adults are risking an early death because of inactivity– is that they seem so abstract. How do you go from knowing you should exercise more, to actually doing it? Especially when you still have flashbacks to school sports day humiliation, or worry that the solitary pair of shorts in your wardrobe may no longer fit.
Here's 2 great ideas...
1: Walk more! Just get off your bum and on your feet. It sounds obvious, but research shows that walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and more. As soon as it becomes habitual, you won’t even consider it as exercise – just try and do at least 30 minutes a day. Get off the bus a stop early!
2: Stand more! Or look at it another way - sit less! We're a nation of habitual sitters. From the day we first went to school we were told to sit down within 5 minutes and it became a lifetime habit. If low level activity (standing) is proven to be a significant part of the every day active solution that most of us can do more of, why don't we!
A standing desk is the nearest thing you can put in your workplace to a piece of gym equipment. You don't need any lycra or a pair of trainers - just you!
Retrofit sit-stand desk solutions are a great success primarily for 2 reasons. Firstly they remove the upheaval of "out with the old and in with the new". Second, they cost less. We're adding to our range by the introducing MiniJack.
MiniJack sits on top of your existing desk and allows you to go from sit to stand and back again with its effortless height adjustable mechanism.
It has both a keyboard and monitor platform to keep you ergonomically correct at sit or stand positions.
MiniJack will start at £215.00 + VAT and be available on our website from around late April.