Movement is healthy – everyone agrees on that: "A rolling stone gathers no moss," as the saying goes. Nevertheless, the average office worker today spends far too much time sitting. Despite the fact that there are good, creative ideas and high-quality furniture that not only make the work day more dynamic but also healthier.
Sitting at your desk hour after hour? No thanks! In a well-designed office, employees don't have to spend the entire work day sitting at their workspace. "Choose the place you need" is the motto of the modern office, as knowledge workers today can select the area best suited to the task at hand. Versatile, well-designed room solutions with a wide variety of features boost inspiration during the work day, as well as providing health benefits. Bene divides its office zones into We-places, where employees can meet and interact, Me-places, where the employee can withdraw for privacy and concentration, and Work-places, which are more conventional workspaces. It’s our vision of a dynamic office that promotes the movement of both mind and body.
Even if the office environment provides the optimal conditions for an active work day, the following fact holds true: People are creatures of habit. For this reason, new behaviours have to be learned that complement the spatial conditions. Already established workflows and processes should be modified to include more movement. For example, one could stand up when making a phone call, discuss matters with colleagues at standing tables, and frequently change one’s location in the office.
There are more than enough reasons to move about: Extended sitting can shorten the muscles in the back and weaken the abdominal, leg and gluteal muscles. The shoulder and neck muscles are also affected, as are the spinal column, intervertebral discs and joints. The metabolism slows down and circulation is restricted, which can lead to a weakened immune system and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Instead of the sitting marathon, a steady transition between sitting, standing and moving is recommended. This makes periods of sitting shorter – and the body and mind more active. Lift Desk Pure by Bene is ideal for alternating between sitting and standing at work: The height of the desk can be adjusted easily and it can be used for work in either sitting or standing positions.
Many health problems develop because standard workspaces are not ergonomically suited to the physical dimensions of employees. It is very important to have the correct (seated) posture: Back problems are the number one cause of illness, accounting for 10 per cent of all cases. They result in the longest absences from work, with an average duration of 22 days.
An office chair that can be adjusted optimally to the needs of the employee is critical for an ergonomic workspace. This includes essentials such as an adjustable seating area and arm rests, as well as flexible back support. The desk and chair height must be adjusted so that the upper and lower arms, as well as the upper and lower legs form a right angle. The feet must be able to rest completely on the floor and the arms on the table or lightly on the keyboard. The back support should be adjusted to the individual's physical dimensions so that the lumbar area and central spine are supported.
Even the best chair will not provide any benefit if you sit for hours in the same position. In general, no sitting position is healthy over long periods of time. Instead, alternating your posture regularly promotes health and well-being. Through dynamic sitting – continually changing your seating posture – different parts of the body and musculature are used. Dynamic and active sitting helps to supply the intervertebral discs with sufficient nutrients and promotes circulation, metabolism and breathing. A pioneer in the design of dynamic sitting furniture is the German manufacturer Wilkhahn: the patented Trimension technology provides synchro-adjusted dynamic seating, encouraging forwards, backwards and sideways movements, as well as rotating the pelvis. This 3D movement technology is used in the IN and ON office chairs.
A dynamic partner for the contemporary work day is also RIYA, the new swivel chair from Bene (design by PearsonLloyd). RIYA provides the best possible support for the body, with the proper stability. With its intelligent ergonomic technology, RIYA also impresses with its ease of use: The intuitive controls make sense on a tactile as well as visual level, and are easy to operate. With its soft, rounded forms, RIYA also offers a pleasant contrast to the standard, high-tech swivel chair.