Standing at attention. Plymouth’s Brabo Benefits touts standings desks for wellness
In presenting employee benefit plans to current and prospective small business clients, Scott Hokanson, owner of Brabo Benefits, often explains how living healthier can lower healthcare costs.
For the Plymouth resident and father of five, that’s not just talk, but something he stands by every day, literally, as he works at a standing desk at Brabo Benefits’s Sandwich Street office in Plymouth.
“I’m on the road and in the car most of the day. So, when I finally get back to the office, about the last thing I want to do is sit some more. A standing desk was a great solution was a great solution and the wellness benefits abound. Some say sitting is the NEW smoking,” said Hokanson, who purchased his desk at the Mill Store in Plymouth, MA.
According to the Smithsonian.com, the average office worker spends five hours and forty-one minutes at his or her desk. Research spurred by James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, revealed that reducing the amount of time spent seated can minimize the risk of issues in several major health areas.
Tops among the benefits of reduced sitting is obesity. Levine’s research revealed office workers with opportunities to move around were less likely to put on weight than ones that did not. Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic problemscan also be alleviated as sitting for extended periods of time is correlated with reduced effectiveness in regulating levels of glucose in the bloodstream, part of a condition known as metabolic syndrome that dramatically increases the chance of type 2 diabetes.
Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is another area as scientists have found that adults who spend two more hours per day sitting have a 125 percent increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks.
In addition, studies suggest that extended periods of sitting can be linked with a higher risk of many forms of cancer. Breast and colon cancer appear to be most influenced by physical activity (or lack thereof).
Finally, the above-mentioned benefits of reduced seating time subsequently improves the opportunity for a longer life. A 2012 study found that if the average American reduced his or her sitting time to three hours per day, life expectancy would climb by two years.
Beyond these major benefits, many people find that standing desks also reduce back and neck pain associated with being seated at a desk and looking at a computer screen several hours a day.
“Many of the health plans we offer include incentives for wellness. Presently, that doesn’t include any reduction in fees for using a standing desk. But if a standing desk is an option, it can improve your health to the point where you can save a little bit on your healthcare and doctor bills,” said Hokanson. “In my case, I really didn’t want to be sitting all day. But I’m more than happy to enjoy all the other benefits that less sitting brings.”
A friend with benefits - Brabo Benefits
Based in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Brabo Benefits provides the full package of employee benefits packages, including: health, dental, life, disability, and stop loss insurance. In addition, Brabo Benefits offers consultative services, such as underwriting support, retirement plans and health care reform compliance. For more information, visit www.brabobenefits.com or call 617-733-6471.