2 Jun 2015

Why are we making our team stand with a new standing desk?

Standing desk reception back pain

Why are we making our team stand with our new standing desk?

Hopefully you’ve noticed, if you’ve been in recently, that we have a new desk in our centre.  Apart from looking much better, the biggest difference between the new one and what we had before if that our CAs (Chiropractic Assistants) stand behind it rather than sit.  So, why have we chosen to have a desk to stand behind rather than one to sit at?

Why a standing desk and not a sitting desk?

As a clinic, we hire CAs and not receptionists.  This means that they’re not your “computer says no” receptionist that you occasionally meet (disclaimer: I’m playing on the Little Britain stereotype and in no way insinuating that all receptions act this way), they’re an active part of the centre and essential in part of our patients’ healing process.  We want them to freely move from behind the desk and greet and help patients.  A standing desk aides this process.  If you’re already standing, you’ll be far more inclined to hold the door open for a mother with a pram than you would be if you were tucked under a desk on a chair.  It requires a lot of effort to get out of a chair to do any task, so during a long day if the task is not essential then you’ll naturally be less inclined to do it straight away.  We want your CAs to be proactive and stay one step ahead at all times – and they’re amazing at doing it.  On another note, I think they look great- more professional and add a sleek touch to any welcome area.

“I feel like I have more energy and I ache less at the end of the day.”

The research

Although the available research isn’t conclusive, here are some important findings:

  • Lets start with everyone’s favourite – calorie burning.  A research group found that a standing desk burns an additional 50 calories per hour more than sitting1.  That’s an extra 750+ calories per week for our CAs.
  • Prolonged periods of sitting is associated with greater metabolic risk, which has links with diabetes and heart disease.  Also for people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as those who smoke2,3.
  • A study of 17,000 Canadians found that the more you sat in a day the higher your risk of mortality from all causes4.

Although not scientific research, reviews on the internet of office users who’ve switched to standing desks report: Higher energy levels, better concentration on tasks, less headaches and even helping to quit smoking!

What do our team think of them

It’s important to add what the CAs themselves have said about the new desk.  They report that they feel like they have more energy at work and their bodies ache less at the end of the day.  Also they feel they are more approachable and that patients talk to them more comfortably.  They find it easier to do tasks away from the desk and don’t put off doing them.  As a bonus they have more space to work and feel everything is more accessible.

It is important to note that they are not standing still all day, they are moving around.  This is important as when you move around you are stimulating the muscles in your core and legs, as well as inputting vital information into the nervous system.  This all helps you to feel more energised and comfortable whilst avoiding the stagnation of sitting still for long periods.

New standing reception desk back pain


Our desk looks good; it’s improving the health and productivity of our CAs; hopefully you’ve noticed a better level of care from our CAs; and to finish, if they’re good enough for Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Benjamin Franklin, they’re good enough for you and me.


1 “Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?”. BBC News. 2013-10-16.
2 Healy, G. N. et al. 2008. “Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk.” Diabetes Care 31: 661-666.
3 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
4 “Sitting time and mortality from all cau… [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009] – PubMed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2014-06-30.

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