Reasons to Include Height-Adjustable Desks as Part of Your Workplace Wellness Program
Innovation and technological advancement have made it easier for workers to get things done. What used to take hours — or days — to execute can now be accomplished in a fraction of that time. However, that efficiency has not necessarily translated into more free time. Growing research studies reveal that people spend a significant amount of time throughout their day in front of their screens.
- Canadian corporate or office workers spend up to 80 percent of their working hours in prolonged sitting periods1.
- The Government of Canada reports that Canadian adults spend roughly 70 percent of their waking hours being sedentary1.
You may know that low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on your health. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for physical ailments like lowered immune functions, slower metabolism, and other health risks2. However, if you spend less time sitting and more time standing, walking, and engaging in light movement throughout the day, you can reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and respiratory diseases1.
Your organization has an opportunity to address prolonged sitting and its associated issues by including height-adjustable desks or sit-stand desks as part of your workplace wellness programs.
The Rise of Sit-Stand Desks
The use of standing desks can be traced back through history. In fact, the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, had requested a cabinetmaker to build a custom-designed standing desk for his personal use, and it was estimated to have been created between 1770–17853.
Technology has influenced the development and iteration of height-adjustable desks. Now, height-adjustable desks are available in various configurations. Some can be pre-set with your preferred heights and, with a touch of a button, raised or lowered to adapt to your changing needs throughout the day. You can also consider desk converters and risers. These solutions can be placed on top of your existing desks and are easily adjustable with simple controls.
The popularity of height-adjustable desks has increased in recent years — and for good reason. As the average workforce needs to spend more time working on computers, workstations that can be quickly adjusted to accommodate sitting and standing positions may contribute to a healthier working environment.
Workplace Wellness Gains
So, whether your organization already has adaptable workstations, or you are considering incorporating height-adjustable desks into the workplace, here is how they can contribute to the health and wellbeing of your employees:
Increased Productivity: A study from the University of Leicester revealed that 43 percent of those who switched to a height-adjustable desk found that their performance had improved after one year of use. In fact, the same study found that 52 percent of those using height-adjustable desks felt more engaged at work after one year4.
Regular use of height-adjustable workstations can contribute to a more productive workplace, and an increase in your workforce’s productivity equates to a better bottom line for the business.
Morale Boost: The option to sit or stand and move throughout the workday without needing to leave the workstation can improve mood and morale. Associates who use standings desks or active seating can feel less stressed and fatigued than their more sedentary peers.
A study captured in Psychological Science highlighted that mental processing time for a psychological test was faster for the group that was standing versus the group of participants who were sitting. Notably, when desks were removed from the end of the study, these recorded improvements mostly disappeared within a few weeks — implying that the availability of active workspaces can contribute to your employees’ better performance5.
Healthier Workforce: Employees may also experience health benefits after transitioning to a height-adjustable desk. Sitting down for long durations can slow down your metabolism, which affects your body’s ability to regulate glucose and blood pressure and break down fat6. Empowering your workforce to move regularly throughout the workday can be the solution, along with encouraging them to exercise and reduce other sedentary lifestyle habits.
Providing your employees with an active or adaptive workspace is a seamless way to encourage them to move while they work— whether that is in the office or at home — that can help support long-term wellness goals. With fewer sick days and less money spent on health insurance, these are some of the employer's benefits of a healthier workforce.
Recruitment Benefits: Having an active workspace also offers appeal. In a competitive job market, a workplace that prioritizes and optimizes for wellness can sway the most talented candidates. One of the top five benefits for job-seeking employees is a company with a focus on wellness7.
Budget-Friendly: While investing in active workspaces for your entire workforce can be costly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You can opt for desk converters and risers, which can be adapted to any existing static workstation — giving employees the possibility to stand or sit with minor controls.
Offering height-adjustable desks is one of the many ways to show that your business cares about its associates with the right tools and solutions to enhance their productivity and wellbeing.
Sit-stand workstations are easy to set up and use. You can customize the desk surface to fit any interior design theme. These active workspace solutions are also modular, so you can configure them to work with any workplace layout — allowing you to convert a static space into a dynamic office environment.
If you are interested in learning more about ways to incorporate height-adjustable desks into your workplace wellness programs, we can help. Contact us today, and our team of experts can work with you to enhance your workplace setting. As employees look for healthy alternatives in the workplace, employers can seize the opportunity to stand up for their wellness.