Human bodies need to stand more, even in the office.
Healthy employees equal a healthy company, which is why many employers have committed to prioritizing the physical and mental health of their staff. Some established companies offer their employees rewards for weight loss, routine health care checkups and regular exercise. Often these incentives come in the form of monetary rewards or gifts that encourage their overall health goals, like a fitness tracker.
While many rewards encourage healthiness outside of the workplace, there’s one incentive that will carry their health commitment right into the office: standing desks. These are a simple way to get staff standing longer and moving around more frequently, altering their traditional sedentary office habits.
Research has shown that sitting at a desk all day can have a detrimental effect on our health. To combat this, the standing desk can assist with reducing weight gain and obesity, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. It can also help ease back pain, increase energy levels and improve attitudes.
Some studies even show that standing desks boost productivity, and they typically don’t have any adverse effects on typing speed. Many office workers consider combining the benefits of standing desks with small desk-sized treadmills or stair steppers for even greater benefits of activity throughout the day.
Standing desks can sometimes be costly depending on the model, but employers should consider them an investment similar to other healthcare programs offered in the continuous quest for a healthier lifestyle. Popular options range from fixed-height and adjustable models to standing desk converters, which can turn any desk into a standing desk.
Allowing employees to have a say in their comfort at the work station will show that you, as the employer, want to invest in them and give them options to adhere to their goals. Just as you may allow them to choose other options for their desks or cubicles, such as lighting or keyboards, allowing them to choose a standing desk will give them some freedom to move around during the day.
As you’re adjusting to other trends in hiring and common workplace issues, consider adding standing desks to your workplace. If you’re not sure if your employees will welcome the change, don’t be afraid to lead by example and make a stand yourself, all the while touting the countless health benefits of standing desks.
Abbey DeHart is a working mother of two that crunches numbers during the day and blogs by night. A widely-published blogger on sites like HomeRight and Angie's List, Abbey also writes for Home Depot about DIY projects and home improvement.