Standing desks are all the rage nowadays. Becoming increasingly popular among hip startup companies, they are slowly adopted by more traditional working surroundings as well. And parallel to the number of scientifically proven benefits of a standing desk, people also love the elevated mood, increased productivity and dynamic flow around the office.
So let’s see how a standing desk can significantly influence the health, mood and productivity of employees, and why so many professionals pay lip service to this ever growing office trend.
What does a standing desk look like?
While there are hundreds of models available, and even more so, considering the option of having your desk custom built, the premise of a standing desk is to allow you to work on your computer in a straight up position.
Many standup desks offer a bar stool, or a similar chair variety, as to successfully combine both working positions should the worker need a bit of diversity.
Similarly, some of them offer an option to readjust the height and switch between a traditional work desk and a standing desk as well. These are often referred to as height-adjustable desks.
Most of the popular models though, strive for simplicity and minimalism, offering nothing more than a sturdy surface, where employees can simply approach and feel comfortable working for hours to an end.
Standing can reduce the risk of heart disease
Several research papers date back to the 50’s, where scientists have concluded that leading a sedentary lifestyle can double the risk of heart related problems by up to 100%.
Since then, similar studies looked at standing as a viable option, only to increase the risk factor of sitting by up to 150%.
It is speculated that even intense exercise, practiced daily, cannot make up for all the negative effects of sitting in one place, for prolonged periods of time.
The biggest benefit of a standing desk – say farewell to back pain
While many people continue to search for comfort within the orthodox format, buying the latest and fanciest of office chairs, standing desks are proven to relieve back pain for up to 40 percent.
Back pain, without competition, is the number one problem for office workers, which can very often lead to a number of productivity and psychological issues.
Changing one chair after another can easily prove an exercise in frustration, and the pain, once present, gets usually worse over time.
Standing desks are great for weight management
If we compare an afternoon of sitting with the same number of hours standing next to a desk, it’s evident that the latter burns more calories – Around 180, in fact.
So, making the calculus easily shows that by simply standing instead of sitting, you will burn an extra of 1000 calories per week. Diets and workouts aside, this is an excellent addition to your lifestyle for keeping your weight in check, and maintaining your health.
Standing desks improve mood
Sitting down for hours to an end can have a very negative impact on mood and energy levels. And this is probably the main reason why San Francisco based startups, and early adopters, are increasingly switching towards standing desks.
Visually, the office looks energized and alive, and people report to feel more vigor. All in all, this can skyrocket productivity.
But aside from being more productive and completing tasks faster, better mood also means less stress and less problems for the HR department to handle. When the flow of energy is vibrant and constant, people get along better, and cooperate more often.
So far, numerous studies have linked standing with elevated mood and productivity around the office, with levels of both sharply declining once people get back to their old work setting.
These scientifically proven benefits of standing desks, for now, are enough to penetrate the trend into more and more startup companies by the week.
Which standing desk to choose?
While the Jarvis Bamboo desk has won many competitions and online reviews, it’s not always about the model. First of all, you have to consider your office space, number of employees, and team dynamic.
For example, some companies chose to have a custom built standing desk, placed in the center of the office, accessible from multiple sides.
Others though, mount wood or bamboo panels on a slider attached to the wall, and thus convert between a traditional desk and a standing one.
And while studies and research papers invariably illuminate the benefits of a standing desk, transitioning fully can have a negative impact on your team dynamic and company overall. Instead, you might want to consider installing a center placed, custom build, wooden desk, which can mimic an office stand where employees come to work together, collaborate, and escape the monotonous habit of sitting for several hours straight.
This will allow workers to slowly switch between a sitting and standing habit, and significantly elevate team mood and productivity.
Even if you work alone, or in a home office, switching between one and the other can be far better than completely erasing the old habit in exchange for a new.
If you are planning to install a standing desk, considering a standing mat is also important. It will allow you to stand in a straight up position, without compromising posture.
Another important accessory, especially if you are having space or budget restraints, is buying a standing desk converter. These come as relatively affordable, and super cheap if you decide to go for the cardboard variety.
The purpose of the standing desk converter is to transform your regular desk into a standing one, by elevating your laptop.
Popular lore holds true that standing desks make your company a hip and dynamic place for work. But if you cannot adjust quite well to this change, try buying a standing desk converter, or install an additional work surface in your office.
You’ll instantly notice the benefits and say farewell to back pain, as well as minimize the risk of heart disease, increased blood sugar, and obesity.
Will the traditional work environment stay around for much longer? Well, it seems like transience and novelty are both in league against it. But we have yet to witness the mass adoption of the standing desk as regular office furniture.