How can you burn the same amount of extra calories as running 10 marathons a year without leaving the comfort of your own desk?
Ask Rimington’s Nick White – he has the answer and is launching a business on the back of it.
For the past six months, Nick (46) has been collating validated, published research highlighting the benefits to both physical and mental health of being less sedentary.
According to one scientific paper by a team from the University of Chester, you can shed an extra 30,000 calories (the same you would use up running 10 marathons) by simply standing, as opposed to sitting, at your desk for just three hours-a-day, five days-a-week over a 12 month period.
It’s such data that has given Nick – who lives with wife Sally and daughters Mary (13) and Florence (11) – the confidence to launch his internet retail enterprise iwantastandingdesk.com from offices in Primrose Mill, Clitheroe, having initially designed a desk at which you can sit but also “jack up” to standing height for his own personal use.
Nick, who formerly had a car franchise business before setting up a direct mail publishing company, explained: “My eureka moment came last summer when I was chatting with a personal trainer in London”.
“Until having a baby, she’d always worked in the fitness industry, but the hours didn’t fit with motherhood so she’d switched to a desk job from home.
“She was telling me how she’d really struggled to get rid of her baby weight, which had surprised her until she’d bought herself a standing desk.
“As my job involved sitting at a desk, I thought I’d do some research on standing desks myself when I got home.”
Nick continued: “Without wanting to be a scaremonger or health bore, I was shocked to discover just how bad sitting too much is for you.
“I’d not really thought of myself as a sedentary person because I cycle and work out a couple of times a week, but I discovered that in relation to how much I sat this wasn’t nearly enough.
“I immediately decided I wanted a standing desk, which are actually commonplace as office and home furniture throughout Scandinavia, the US and Australia. Here in Britain, we lag behind.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one that had the right look or price, so I ended up designing my own and it’s this initial design that I’ve now honed and expanded in to the range of desks that I will sell via the internet.”
This range includes individual and boardroom desks for companies as well as desks for the home and schools/colleges that can be raised or “jacked” to standing height either manually or electronically.
This ability has also inspired their names, such as Little Jack, Big Jack and Power Jack.
They vary in price from £397 plus VAT to £597 plus VAT and can be bought in a choice of vibrant finishes and colours and even be printed with company logos.
Designed in the Ribble Valley by Nick and his team, they are essentially a British product, although an engineering company in the Netherlands has helped with the jacking mechanism.
“At this time of year, many of us have made resolutions to get fitter by running, cycling or going to the gym,” added Nick.
“Whatever you choose, simply introduce standing up as often as you can in your everyday life.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing - working at a desk or gaming at home.
“Rather than watching TV slouching on the settee, do your ironing at the same time, so you’re standing at the ironing board!”
l For more information about Nick’s jack desks or to read some of the research on the adverse effects of sitting too much, log on to www.iwantastandingdesk.com