Standing Desks Are Good For Your Productivity, Too

That strange guy at the office who uses a trendy standing desk just might be more productive than the rest of us at our cushy, seated workspaces, a new study says.

The fad of standing while you work has received praise from some and caution from others when it comes to health claims, but does it cause us to work harder?

Research by Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health showed how one call center’s productivity soared with workers using standing-capable desks in just one month. The findings were so startling that Mark Benden, one of the study’s lead authors, that he stated, “When my doctoral student first came to me [with the numbers], I said, ‘You’ve made a mistake. This just isn’t possible.’ ”

After following the workers for one month, they found the standing-capable group had 23 percent more successful calls than their seated colleagues. This numbers steadily rose over time, reaching 53 percent over a six month span. Not only did their quantity and quality of work increase, so did their “comfort, attitude about work and how they felt about themselves.”

Productivity is difficult to calculate in any field, as it can include many abstract factors, as well as tangible ones. The researchers are confident, however, that these results can be replicated in all sorts of office settings with all sorts of definitions of productivity.

It is hard to say exactly what makes the standing desk positively influence productivity, but since the mind-body connection is so strong, perhaps the physical health benefits impact mental health. We should all be well-aware of the hazards of being sedentary all day long by now, including pain in the neck, back and joints, varicose vein development, a link to heart disease and colon cancer.

If you can’t afford to buy a new standing desk, there are still some ways to reap the health and productivity benefits of having one:

Prop up your existing desk or computer. Get creative with the tools or furniture you have (safely, of course) or invest in one of these products that can convert your space into a standing desk.

Make meetings walking meetings. Have an important discussion with colleagues coming up? Instead of sitting around a table, take a walk around the block while you hash out ideas.

Set an alarm to get moving. Hours on end in a sitting (or standing) position is no good, so incorporate reminders into your day to get up, stretch, take a walk around the building or move somewhere different to complete your work. Your joints will thank you.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

106 comments

Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba2 years ago

I know, it was in the French news last year, maybe Canadian news too, but for people with flat feet it is harder to stay up for a very long time. I have flat feet.

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

I need one of these in my job; indeed I think we should work seated and standing for our back's health. Sharing

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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federico bortoletto

Grazie per l'articolo.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Mary F.
Mary F2 years ago

Thanks!

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Rhonda lawford
Rhonda lawford2 years ago

thank you. we are fortunate at our job to have these and they have been wonderful

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela2 years ago

Noted

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Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons2 years ago

Heck naw I am sitting down.

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Cindy W.
Cindy W2 years ago

I got a sit / stand station for my computer a few months ago and love it!! I generally stand for the first few hours of the day and then whenever I need a break for sitting. Best thing ever.

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