Does sit/stand working actually work?
Wellbeing at work is a hot topic but how do you create the perfect environment to help improve your employee working environment?
I’ve posted a couple of times on Linkedin about my endeavours to be more active at work. Starting with office runs and ending with using cardboard boxes as a standing desk prototype, inspired by Andy Ramage who is passionate about wellbeing (check him out, he does cool things like give up alcohol for a year: oneyearnobeer.com).
The response I got was incredible. So big, in fact, that Humanscale, a ‘premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve health and comfort at work’, sent me a desk. That’s right they just saw my plight and sent me one.
They hoped it would help me out and, by golly, were they right (by golly is still a phrase right?).
Now, before I begin, sit/stand working is not some magic fixer of a productivity problem. They will, however make you feel better and here’s why:
- Sedentary lifestyles are reeeaaally bad for you.
Just google it right now: ‘Consequences of a sedentary lifestyle’. Happy reading! Sit/stand desks allow you to move from one state of being to another and that movement increases bloodflow. Personally, my back and shoulders feel so much better when I have the chance to stand for 15 minutes every hour. Be careful not to stand for too long at a time as this can cause as many problems as sitting.
- The gift of refocus.
If you find yourself gazing off into space or endlessly sifting through e-mails, then standing up can jolt you into a different headspace, allowing you to refocus. At least, that’s what I’ve found. Some say it hasn’t helped overall productivity. Some say it works after a month. I say it helps from the first week.
- Standing can help with confidence.
Especially when making phone calls. The ‘Power Pose’ is well talked about and standing at your desk can trigger the same response. Avoid shrinking away in your chair and take the confidence boost. You don’t just feel more commanding. You are.
- You know your employer cares about how you feel at work.
If you approach your employer and mention you are in pain and/or having trouble at your desk and they approve your request for a standing desk, you know they have made an investment in your wellbeing. Feeling like your employer cares about you and responds to your needs is one of the best feelings at work. You feel valued and become more engaged/invested in the business as a result. We all know what it is like to have a boss that is reluctant to change anything about the environment you work in because it is easier for them.
The Humanscale QuickStand desk is the perfect product for my needs.
It needed to be non-invasive so that we could keep our existing office furniture.
It needed to be sleek to reduce the visual impact on my colleagues in a small office.
It needed to be fast because some electric desks take a looooooong time to lift to the right height.
The QuickStand is not heavy to use. Lifting it takes under a second and is light. It’s impact on the office is minimal.
There was one drawback:
The QuickStand desk requires installation. It arrives as a flat pack and is then built on a separate day by a Humanscale representative. This does mean that the desk is set up in the best position for you but it eats time out of your day. This may soon not be a problem as I believe they have developed one that can be bought and placed straight on the desk by the employee.
I’m also not aware of what to do if the internal mechanism gets stuck/fails (though I suppose this problem would exist with most standing desks).
So do you feel awful just sitting all day? Wish you could stretch your legs? Come back here at the end of July for your chance to win your very own sit/stand desk.