Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill: President, Prime Minister—and trendsetters?
Although they may seem like a hot new trend, standing desks have actually been around for centuries. In fact, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill worked at standing desks every single day.
Just a few months ago, the White House officially requested up to $700,000 worth of them. Google, Twitter and Facebook have incorporated them in their office spaces and an increasing number of companies are following suit.
We’ve all heard of standing desks, but how much do we really know about them? And why do they seem to be catching on like wildfire?
Sit on this
Everyone knows that too much sitting is just as bad as too much of anything else—but for so many people who spend their working hours in an office at a desk, there was never much of an alternative.
Study after study throughout the last century shows that people who sit for six hours or more a day have a shorter life expectancy than those who don’t. A sedentary lifestyle is also one of the leading causes of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and many other serious health conditions. The invention (or should we say resurgence?) of standing desks has changed all that.
Say goodbye to the 3 o’clock slump
Facebook reported that since incorporating standing desks into their office, employees are more energetic throughout the day. It makes sense since we’ve all experienced that sleepy, sluggish feeling after sitting for long periods of time—especially after lunch.
In a study done by a startup group in Europe, employees tracked their time and productivity during which they worked standing and when they worked sitting. Seven people participated in the study for one week and the results showed that there was a 10% increase in productivity during the time they worked at a standing desk versus sitting down. Standing desks help increase both productivity and energy.
Stand up and collaborate
GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical giant, did an experiment to test the idea that standing desks increase collaboration. In the study, employees were given standing desks in an effort to remove barriers and allow coworkers to work together more.
The results were astounding, as employees not only had more energy, but also felt an increase in creativity and were motivated by the ability to move around within a more open space—leading to a higher level of collaboration.
Standing desks also help people increase their focus because there’s an increased sense of urgency when one is standing, motivating workers to focus on the completion of their tasks.
Standing desks increase:
A healthy combination
While all evidence suggests that standing while working can have enormous benefits, there’s also a belief that a combination of standing and sitting can also be beneficial. The good news is that
today’s standing desks are designed with the ability to easily adjust in height so they offer the best of both worlds. Placing standing desks throughout the workplace offers workers the option to sit when they feel they need to and stand when it’s most effective.
For today’s most progressive companies, allowing employees to stand while working has been proven to improve productivity, increase creativity, foster collaboration and provide increased health benefits. As more organizations look for opportunities to promote wellness among their workforce, it’s likely the use of standing desks will become even more mainstream.
If you’re interested in pursuing this option for your company or would like to know more about how you can create an environment that increases employee satisfaction and productivity, call Compass Office Solutions. Our innovative workspace solutions can improve the performance of your business.