Today, companies are making health a higher priority in the workplace, and part of this effort includes providing more ways for employees to stay active during their work day. The standing desk is one such option that makes it possible to work while standing up, but are they all they’re cracked up to be? Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of standing work stations, so you can decide whether they’re a good fit for your office environment.
Pro: Big Health Advantages
Many are calling sitting the new smoking, as too much sitting is linked to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. With many people spending the majority of their days at work, the amount of time spent in chairs is difficult to avoid. Well, until now.
Standing desks offer greater health benefits by providing employees a way of working while on their feet The health advantages to spending more time standing are undeniable; here are just some of the benefits of spending a few more hours a day standing instead of sitting:
- Increased metabolism
- Reduced back pain
- Greater core strength
- Better circulation
Just spending a couple hours a day standing when you would otherwise be sitting can make a tremendous difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Weight loss goals you’ll be happy to know that just standing burns a third more calories than sitting does.
Pro: Better Focus and Creativity
Having the option of standing can benefit productivity as well, because sedentary behavior isn’t just hard on our bodies, it also has a dulling effect on our minds The feeling of lethargy that comes from too much sitting can start to affect our mood and ability to stay sharp and be creative.
If you spend a lot of time in a chair at work, chances are you’re familiar with the afternoon slump that occurs after lunch. A standing workstation allows you to get up and stretch, which will warm up your body, burnoff a heavy lunch, and keep you more alert.
Not getting enough movement throughout the day has even been shown to impact how your brain developments new neurons. If you want to keep your employees productive, and in a better mood, then keeping at least a few standing workstations in your office can make a big difference.
Con: Possibly Inconvenient
Most people work eight-hour days, which is a long time to be standing. Realistically, you might prefer to switch positions fairly frequently, but unless your workstation allows for quick and simple adjustment, it might deter employees from even bothering. One of the cons is simply the inconvenience of having to adjust a stand-or-sit workstation throughout the day.
Some office spaces keep communal standing workstations for employees to use when they feel like it, and return to their sitting desk when they want. The only problem with this is frequently having to adjust to accommodate different heights, and using shared computers.
Con: Sore Feet
Usually when we’re standing we’re also moving around, not standing in one place. This could take some getting use to in the first few weeks of using a standing desk. For this reason, many who use standing work stations also use a padded mat to stand on for extra support.
If the dress code in your workplace is business attire, then heels and men’s dress shoes are probably not the best option to wear with standing desks. Using them might mean a more relaxed dress code for the sake of comfort.
Con: Not Compatible with Every Type of Work
Standing desks aren’t the best option for all kinds of work, nor are they compatible with all work-related tools. Some tasks that require sharp motor skills (such as sketching), or even working out complicated problems can be more challenging for some people while standing.
Due to the space between the elbows and keyboard, standing desks don’t work too well with laptops, and tablets for graphic work can also be awkward to use. When setting up a standing desk, stick to desktop computers, which work perfectly with them.
Standing desk aren’t the best for meeting with clients, so a sitting desk should always be kept for those kinds of tasks. Sitting desks allow for more relaxed and comfortable communication.
If your goal is to provide healthier working conditions in your workplace, then standing work stations are a great option to have. Now that you know the pro’s and con’s, you can find the best way of using them in your office environment.