Updated: Oct 31, 2018
By now, you’ve probably heard of standing desks: they are the leading edge of a new trend that claims to burn calories, reduce neck and back pain, and boost productivity while at work. And finally, scientists have proved it to be true: a new study claims that standing desks improve employee productivity by almost 50%.
The main object of the study was to analyze employee productivity at a call center over a 6-month period after the company bought standing desks. The employees talked with clients on the phone about health problems and their productivity was analyzed based on whether their callers decided to become clients and if they delivered pertinent information.
After just a month of using the standing desks, employees were 23% more productive than their colleagues who were sitting behind traditional desks. After 6 months, the boost of productivity increased even more. The average productivity increase was 46%.
Of course, it is only one study and some say that it is about a very specific group of people and the employees who used the standing desks received calls from new clients, while their colleagues who were seated took calls from existing clients. Therefore, some people claim that the nature of the calls was different and there are more studies needed to support the findings of this study.
Whether you think the findings are correct or not, there are proven benefits of standing desks that are hard to deny. Let’s have a look at some of them.
There is no consensus on whether or not standing desks provide a productivity boost. There are only eight studies and half of them found that standing desks increase productivity, while others showed mixed results. Therefore, it is a bit too early to say whether standing desks have a considerable effect on performance or whether they affect the number of sick days employees take; one of the most common signs of low productivity.
However, adjustable height standing desks have real health benefits, even though they might have nothing to do with productivity. According to the study published by the Department of Health and Human Physiology, both standing and taking breaks are beneficial for your health. For example, when you stand, you increase your caloric expenditure by a whopping 30%. Moreover, when you take regular breaks from standing and sitting (for example, you stretch, stand up and walk around, or alter your posture); it reduces your discomfort, increases blood flow, and reduces fatigue.
However, scientists also say more standing isn’t necessarily better. Standing for a long period of time has drawbacks as well, for example, swelling, joint pain, stiffness, restricted blood flow, and fatigue. Therefore, in order to get the most benefits, you should choose a workstation that allows you to stand and sit. If you find the right balance between walking, standing, and sitting, you will significantly improve your physical health.
Even though 2-in-1 standing desks may not have a direct impact on an employee’s productivity, they do have an indirect positive effect.
Increase Morale of Your Employees
Standing desks are a good way to show that you care about your employees. According to studies, employees are 38% more engaged to work when they feel their employer cares about their well-being. Providing healthy workstations such as group pods, individual desks, yoga balls, collaborative tables, sit-stand desks, and exercise bikes help to demonstrate that you support the healthy lifestyle of your employees.
According to the President of Karelia Health, John Carew, providing sit-stand desks for employees means you are supporting an individual. As the president, he says it is his opportunity to help employees. When asked about organizations that can benefit from height adjustable workstations, any type of business should consider getting them. He says they don’t cost that much and it is easy to include standing desks to any Company wellness plan.
A Practical Solution
Sit-stand desks are quickly gaining popularity because they are inexpensive. They are available for the same price as a regular desk and chair. It is no surprise that companies are now choosing a more effective solution.
For example, Mr. Carew says that he has a sit-stand desk in his office and he’s never regretted buying it. He is a marathon runner and tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so he loves the opportunity to stretch his legs and back during the workday. That said he prefers 2-in-1 desks because of their standing option.
Sit-stand desks can make employees happier and as a result, more productive. Besides, they help to fight fatigue and keep leg and neck pain at bay. They can’t magically make anyone more productive but they are definitely worth your attention.