News January 21, 2020

LINAK releases new videos focused on boosting employee productivity and happiness with sit-stand desks

What are the benefits of adding sit-stand desks to the office? From creating an active and healthy work environment to getting more from your employees, LINAK answers this question and shows how sit-stand desks create value for both employers and their employees.

Why is moving important?
The office space has changed a lot over the years, but one thing has remained constant: we still sit a lot. We spend most of the day sitting, up to 12 hours.1  And the majority of our waking hours are spent being sedentary. This is important because there are real consequences for excessive inactivity in our day-to-day lives. From heart disease and diabetes to fatigue and back pain, inactivity can really increase your level of health risks.

 

In fact, physical inactivity causes around 30% of ischemic heart diseases and 27% of diabetes cases.2  So anything we do to decrease inactivity each day is a valuable tool for improving our health. And wellness is not only important for the individual using the desk. There are benefits for both the employee and the employer when health and wellness are a priority for the workplace. Research has shown a direct link between healthy employees and improved performance. So this should be a focus for every employer.

How do we get people moving?
One of the best ways to get your company moving is to make the switch to height-adjustable or sit-stand desks. Including the right sit-stand desk with reminder functions and intuitive design  in your workplace can be a great way to jump start an employee wellness program. But one thing to keep in mind is that movement can be anywhere you are in the office space. From one leg stands to multi-leg conference room tables, the possibilities of how you can bring movement into your office designs are endless. The key thing to think about is where will people be spending their time. They likely won’t spend all their time at their desk. Between meetings, collaborations and socializing that takes place in a workspace, there are many areas where motion can be brought in to designs to promote flexibility in the environment.

Benefits of sit-stand desks
“There are many individual health benefits of using sit-stand desks, but studies have shown that standing just a few minutes per hour contributes to weight loss, improves mental health, and helps make you happier and healthier,” said Michael Cook, director of the DESKLINE division at LINAK U.S. Inc. “But studies also show that when employees use their desks more, they're better employees. They have reduced sick days, they're more focused, they're more productive, and they're less stressed3.

 

According to James Levine, Director of Obesity Solutions for the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University, the return on investment is typically between $3 and $7 for every $1 invested in workplace interventions that help people be more active on the job. So sit-stand desks are a win-win for employers.”4

Standing helps switch on the enzymes that are responsible for good health5, increases blood flow to relieve fatigued muscles6 and permits the body to achieve a loading balance. Just the act of going from sit to stand is great for your health.7  It forces your body to work against gravity and keeps those skeletal muscles strong. While there have been recent debates about appropriate sit-stand intervals, it has been recommended that we get a minimum of 2 hours of standing per day, standing 15 minutes every hour.8  The real goal is continuous movement throughout the day.

“There have been some really misleading discussions out there,” said Cook. “One recent study showed that if you stand for extended periods of time, it can lead to negative effects like discomfort and mental sluggishness, but we know that sedentary behavior can have severe effects as well. So, to set the record straight, it's not just about doing one or the other. The real key is doing the right amount of both. Instead of focusing on sitting or standing, businesses should be focused on movement and encouraging a more active work environment.“

 

Individual benefits (10):

  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Burn more calories
  • Increase energy levels
  • Increase muscle activity
  • Impact weight loss
  • Support mental health

Employer benefits

  • Reduce sick days
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve quality and efficiency of work
  • Increase collaboration among groups of employees
  • Improve focus and reduce stress

Get your company moving
Though sit-stand desks have been a growing global trend for some time, there still are a lot of businesses that have not made the switch. In fact, Cook estimates in North America only 10% of desks are height-adjustable. That means a lot of people and businesses are missing out on the potential benefits from adding movement to the workplace. If you or your company has not made the switch yet, or if you are thinking about adding sit-stand desks to your upcoming design projects, make sure to explore and share our latest videos highlighting these benefits.

 

References

  1. Garrett, G., Benden, M., Mehta, R., Pickens, A., Peres, S., & Zhao, H. (2016). Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing Desk Intervention. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 2-3, pp. 188-195.
  2.  Healy, G., Lawler, S., Thorp, A., Neuhaus, M., Robson, E., Owen, N., & Dunstan, D. (2012). Reducing prolonged sitting in the workplace. An evidence review: full report. Melbourne, Australia: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.
  3. Hedge, A. (2016, March 18). Sit-Stand Working Programs. Retrieved from http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUESitStandPrograms.html
  4. Hedge, A. (2017). Ergonomic Workplace Design for Health, Wellness and Productivity. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group .
  5. Institut für Gesundheit und Ergonomie. (2018). Measuring the effect of sit-stand reminders. LINAK.
  6. Levine, J., & Yeager, S. (2009). Overweight? Depressed? You Have Sitting Disease. In J. Levine, & S. Yeager, Move a Little, Lose a Lot: New N.E.A.T. Science Reveals How to Be Thinner, Happier, and Smarter. Harmony.
  7. Lytle, T. (2017, February 22). Promote an Active Workforce with Standing Desks. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0317/pages/promote-an-active-workforce-with-standing-desks.aspx
  8. Miles-Chan, J., Sarafian, D., Montani, J., & al., e. (2013). Heterogeneity is the energy cost of posture maintenance during standing relative to sitting: phenotyping according to magnitude and time-course. PLoS One, e65827, 8.
  9. Saeidifard, F., Medina-Inojosa, J., Supervia, M., Olson, T., Somers, V., Erwin, P., & Lopez-Jimenez, F. (2018, March 1). Differences of energy expenditure while sitting versus standing: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 522-538.
  10. Tatta, J. (2017). Return to Movement. In Heal Your Pain Now: The Revolutionary Program to Reset Your Brain and Body for a Pain-Free Life. Boston: Da Capo Press.
  11. Van der Ploeg, H., Chey, T., Korda, R., Banks, E., & Bauman, A. (2012). Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222,497 Australian Adults. Arch Intern, 172(No. 6), 494-500.
  12. World Health Organization. (2009). Global health risks. Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva: World Health Organization.

 

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