Why Standing is Important for Comfort & Productivity
Posted: Oct 11, 2017
Standing desks aren’t a new idea. Commonly, offices in the 19th century featured tall wooden desks that were the norm for many types of workers. Perhaps most famously, Ernest Hemingway and other writing legends used standing desks for years, citing increased focus and productivity. Receiving a boost in energy, reducing the risk of obesity and saving money in health and wellness programs are all benefits of introducing standing desks into your office.
We talk all the time about standing at work, but do you know why it’s so important? There are many reasons; employees are more likely to be satisfied and committed to their jobs when they are provided with the ergonomic comforts they need. More than 42 percent of workplace back injuries stem from ergonomic concerns and on average, workers who suffer these issues take at least a week to recuperate.
Stocking the proper items and paying attention to your employees’ needs can help you combat this. Read on to learn why standing on the job is crucial for maintaining a comfortable, healthy and productive work environment.
Are Standing Desks Worth the Investment?
We can see why businesses are hesitant to purchase standing desks for their offices; the costs are more expensive than traditional desks and seating. Standing desks can be a pricey investment, however, the health benefits workers receive from standing will save your company money over time in health and wellness initiatives, in addition to increased work productivity from higher team morale.
Standing on the Job Improves Worker Health and Safety
By respecting diverse health preferences, employers can increase production and retain workers for longer. Proper ergonomics in the workplace, like stocking sit-to-stand desks, leads to more energetic, prolific employees. Instilling good habits in your team like using comfortable seating, standing throughout the day and taking short breaks from technology can make your whole office a healthier and happier place to be.
Standing Reduces Back Pain
Are you one of the estimated 100 million Americans suffering from chronic back pain, day in and day out? Rather than reaching for the bottle of aspirin or resigning yourself to a life of discomfort, there are several ways to banish the stress of back pain, including standing desks. First, let’s talk about what causes this pain in the first place.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain, and How Does Standing Help?
The most common cause of chronic back pain is due to poor workplace ergonomics, including uncomfortable desk chairs that lack adjust ability, and having to strain to reach workplace tools like the computer mouse and keyboard. It can be extremely frustrating to suffer from lower back discomfort, and it is something that affects millions of Americans every day.
While there are many causes of chronic back pain, there is one key way it manifests in your employees’ lives. The main source of back pain stems from something the majority of people do every day: going to work. Whether you work on a construction site or type the day away at a desk in an office, the movement and posture of your body can manifest into serious back pain if proper ergonomic precautions aren’t taken.
Because its central to your body, back pain affects your mood, making you irritable and low in spirits; it also hinders the movement of your whole body and if untreated, can lead to extreme problems later on. These negative effects can really harm workplace productivity; here are some solutions to the problem.
Create Ergonomically-Friendly Work spaces
The term ‘ergonomics’ may sounds confusing, but the idea is simple: creating spaces and moving around your surroundings in a way that’s naturally aligned with your body’s movement will help you avoid injuries and discomfort associated with repetitive strain and stress. Good ergonomics in the workplace includes having a comfortable desk chair, working with your computer at the right height, limiting eye strain from screen usage and positioning your mouse and keyboard at the optimal distance from your body.
Another amazing product is a sit-to-stand desk. By offering team members the ability to stand when they feel like it, and sit when they are tired, can make them feel more in charge of their environment, which will in turn motivate them to produce higher quality work. A worker who is comfortable, healthy and happy will drive your business toward more success than an employee who is in pain, distracted and suffering from a poor work environment.
Ergonomics in the Workplace: 4 Benefits of a Standing Desk
Ensuring proper ergonomics in the workplace ranges from investing in supportive chairs to setting up your workstation for maximum comfort, and offering a variety of work spaces to having sit-to-stand desks. The dangers of sitting all day are plentiful and researchers have coined the seated struggles of today’s workers as, "Sitting disease." Knowing the dangers of sitting is the first step, but there are other actions you can take to make sure you are treating your body well. Many offices include a variety of ergonomic options to boost employee health and wellness; here are 3 benefits of using a standing desk.
Increased Health and Wellness: Although it definitely isn’t a replacement for regular exercise, working at a standing desk can help your body burn more calories throughout the day, giving you more of an ability to do your job well. While the caloric difference between standing and sitting may not be enormous, having workers stand for certain parts of the day will help lower annual health and wellness costs, reduce workplace absenteeism and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
A Workplace Energy Boost: Want to feel more invigorated during a big project?
Try standing at your desk. You’ll experience an extra boost of energy and a higher ability to socialize and converse with co-workers, which leads to a more cohesive team. It may even become a replacement for an afternoon cup of coffee!
Reduced Risk of Illness, Obesity and Early Death
The average employee spends nearly 6 hours a day sitting at their desk, which leads to a number of health problems. Luckily, standing on the job can help you offset these negative consequences. In fact, a Mayo Clinic study found those who sit for long periods have a 50 percent higher risk of early death due to the lifestyle. On the other hand, office workers who regularly walked around and stood had reduced risks of obesity, and gained less weight over time.
Even blood pressure and blood sugar can be regulated by standing often, making standing desks the perfect addition to boosting ergonomics in the workplace.
Improved on the Job Productivity
There are only so many hours in a workday, and you can only get so many projects completed during that time. To increase your output, standing desks can help. How? They dramatically improve your productivity by allowing you and your workers to focus on the project at hand while allowing the freedom to move with ease, much more than at a traditional desk. In fact, studies show using a standing desk can increase your work results up to 50-percent. You can get double the amount of work done in your day when compared to your sitting coworkers – amazing!
Best Practice: Standing Every 20 Minutes
Practicing healthy ergonomics in the workplace requires thinking about all aspects of health that may be affected by a sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle. There are countless benefits of standing during the workday, but workers without a standing desk (or a DIY option) may find standing hard to fit in between emails and phone calls. While standing burns more calories than sitting, it also has a variety of other health benefits like increased energy, alertness, longer lifespan and more. What’s the best way to use a standing desk? We recommend switching from sitting to standing relatively often.
Take a break from your seat and try standing for a few minutes at least every 20 minutes. This can negate the effects of sitting all day. Standing increases your heart rate and allows blood to flow more regularly. If you do this five times an hour, your body will be functioning normally, even though you spend most of the workday in a seated position.
You know the saying, "You can’t get the job done without the right tools?" Using ergonomically supportive equipment will help rehabilitate strained muscles and remove much of the chronic back pain faced by many Americans, and help them become better at their jobs. Workers today are searching for ways to eliminate many of the physical discomforts felt in the traditional office; ergonomic tools such as standing desks, are often the answer.
Contact Us Today for a Solution
Many employers have expressed challenges in finding cost-effective solutions to improve employee comfort, productivity and well being; we aim to provide those business solutions and transform the workplace into a comfortable, happy environment while respecting diverse budget constraints. Our customized solutions can make a big difference in the overall health and wellness of your office. Contact us today; we are happy to help!