You may have heard that standing desks are good for the body. They have been proven to help burn more calories during the day, fight obesity and even improve attention span as well as cognitive functioning. New research from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health shows that this productivity boost may extend to adults in the workplace as well.
In the recent studies, two groups of call center employees were observed over a six month period. Those who had desks that they could use as in a sitting position and standing position at will were shown to be 46% more productive than individuals who had standard work desks which only allowed them to work in a sitting position. Productivity was measured based on the number of phone calls successfully completed per hour throughout each work day. The study was published in the IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors journal.
Mark Benden, an author on the study says the team hopes this work will show companies that while there may be additional costs associated with proving standing workstations, increased productivity over the long term will quickly offset such costs.
Gregory Garrett, lead author of the study said an interesting finding during the study was that the differences in productivity among the two groups were not very different during the first month of observation. However, once employees became used to standing at their desks, their numbers quickly rose apart from their seated counterparts. Standing during the work day improves the overall health of workers. 75% of those who stood during work said they experienced a decrease in their discomfort after using the new desks for half a year.
Benden says that the research did not employ a random sample during their testing. All 74 of the employees who had standing work stations had been employed at their current job ranging from one to three months. 93 workers who had been at their jobs for a year or more were used as a control group, and remained seated during their work days. People who had standing desks were chosen at random, removing any underlying factors that may have caused certain people to choose to sit, rather than stand, and vice versa.
With this newest information, Benden and his team plan to look into more creative ways to find objective productivity measures for different types of office workers. They plan to explore both traditional seated environments and standing-capable environments.