Standing desks are all the rage, but do they actually … help?
The early results say that yes, standing desks can improve productivity – and are healthy to boot. A recent study at Texas A&M University found that using a standing desk (for reasons unknown) increased productivity by up to a whopping 46%. That study was performed in a call center (a vocation that’s certainly more amenable to being seated over long periods of time than most). From their abstract:
Stand-capable desks have been shown to successfully reduce sedentary behavior in the modern office, but whether their utilization improves cognitive productivity is not known. We compared productivity between stand-capable desk users and traditional seated desk users in a call center environment. Data were collected daily over a continuous 6-month period. We found that increased stand-capable desk use is a likely contributor to increased productivity over traditional seated desk use. These findings indicate that use of stand-capable desks as ergonomic interventions to improve physical health among employees may also positively impact their work productivity.
Large companies have already taken note as well – Google and Facebook are among those that have adopted standing desks as an option.
Some companies have gone even further: a study at the University of Queensland in Australia said activity-promoting desks (yes, you should be thinking of treadmill desks) increase productivity and reduce workplace stress in a minimized way. Here’s the full study!
Anecdotally, a number of bloggers have tested them, and for hte most part, at least over the short-term, they seem to like standing desks:
- Julia Gifford from Readwrite
- Angus Chen from NPR (who did not like the idea and didn’t find the studies credible)
- Robert H. Shmerling from Harvard (he’s an MD who writes favorably of the idea)
Herman Miller, whose products we sell, has a number of standing desks available for order.