Do all GPs need standing desks?
Letter from Dr Joanna Byers, GP trainee, West Suffolk
We hold forth and righteous to our patients on the benefits of moving more, being active, on small tricks and gains to overcome the latest surge on our society and yet another threat to their cholesterol level. Living a sedentary lifestyle is purported to unleash a cascade of negative effects on our metabolic rates, including an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. And yet, the average GP doing two sessions per day spends a minimum of eight hours sat behind the computer. Even if we are lucky enough to have the luxury of time in order to stand and fetch our next patient from the waiting room, this is a significant time commitment to the sitting position.
But what are the alternatives? The standing desk, allowing users to stand comfortably to work, is recently entering the public eye, with reported benefits of decreased back pain, increased calorie burn and even improved mood and productivity. With a model from IKEA costing less than £200, should we be investing in our own health and bringing these into practices? What would be the impact of standing on the historical doctor-patient interaction? Would engaging with patients from a loftier height do anything to improve compliance or white-coat syndrome? What would happen to challenging communications if we were no longer at eye level? And, ultimately, for the last patient of the day, at the end of a long and difficult session, would we be fresher, stand taller, and be more ready to engage with his or her needs?
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
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