ith our health as North Americans constantly being pushed as a worry by healthcare officials, some staff at Algonquin have chosen standing over sitting while in the workplace.
Standing desks have been ordered and installed for various employees of the college, with many saying they wouldn’t think of switching back.
“TK,” said Darlene Tierney-Goebel, the academic clerk of media studies. The switch wasn’t due to any health concerns, but Tierney-Goebel decided she needed change. She originally adapted a makeshift standing desk on Oct. 22 at the advice of a co-worker.
She placed an upside-down cardboard box, cut to the perfect height, on her desk with the keyboard placed on top. Then she stacked an upside-down green tea box, and a dictionary with a greeting card taped to it as a makeshift mousepad. Her monitors sit atop milk crates with decorative cloths draped on top.
Although this may appear an eyesore, the entire set-up was functional and practical as Tierney-Goebel demonstrated the ease of being able to hop from one section of her office to another.
And literally right around the corner from her resides another new user of the standing desk, Carol Garceau. She adopted hers at the advice of Tierney-Goeble and a recommendation by human resources.
“I knew I had to because of health reasons,” said Garceau, an employee for faculty and student support for the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design. She explained that after an examination by Human Resources, they recommended that to relieve her constant (back?) pain it would be ideal for her to have a standing desk.
Research done by the United Kingdom’s University of Leicester in 2012, with help from colleagues at Loughborough University, found that sitting for extended periods of time everyday greatly increased chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and early death. A study done by a researcher at the University of Prince Edward Island found standing desks to be beneficial for the back, metabolic health and insulin levels.
Another staff member, working down in parking services, first adopted the standing desk in the early fall semester of 2014.
“For me it was a necessity,” said Fabian Bron, the budget officer for parking services. He explained that following an ergo assessment and a consultation with a doctor, it would be best for his back issues if he started using one.
But as for another reason that Tierney-Goebel is loving her new office set-up? The alertness it allows her.
“Even after I had just started using mine, I felt more aware of my surroundings,” she said. “I definitely won’t go back to a sitting desk.”