We’re constantly searching for hacks to increase our productivity these days, and there are many techniques claiming to help reach this holiest of grails. Some swear by waking up at dawn followed by a painstaking routine before breakfast. Others recommend eating your frog, i.e. the thing you’re dreading most on your to do list, first thing each day. Then there’s the Pomodoro technique of chunking up your work day into timed 25 minute slots with a 5 minute break in between, which is said to focus the mind and help get items ticked off your to do list. We’re also increasingly aware that we sit too much. We’re at the computer for hours during the working day, and then settle down to binge-watch TV on the sofa in the evening. Even squeezing in a daily gym visit, walk or run can’t counteract the damage done by being sedentary for the majority of your waking hours. So if somebody told you that making one simple change to your work habits could alleviate the problems associated with sitting too much plus increase your productivity by as much as 46%, as one US study of call centre employees found, your ears would probably prick up. And that change is to start working at a standing or height-adjustable desk.
Standing while you work has many benefits physically and psychologically – here are some of the most rewarding:
1. Increases energy Standing increases overall energy levels and keeps them stable, preventing a mid-afternoon slump. In a study, 87% of employees using standing desks reported feeling more energetic as a result of standing more during their working day. Being on your feet also improves alertness and positivity.
2. Improves focus Just ten minutes of standing is all it takes to increase concentration and attention span. 71% of employees in the same study, who reduced their sitting time by just one hour a day reported improved focus throughout the day. And when you’re more focused, you’re able to work much more efficiently. In addition, decision-making and judgement improve, so less mistakes are made.
3. Boosts brain power Standing stimulates circulation, sending more oxygen and nutrients to your brain. Physical movement also encourages the creation of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis, specifically in the regions of the brain associated with critical thinking. So problem-solving, word association, creative thinking, and verbal fluency will all improve.
4. Encourages collaboration Standing lends itself so much better to collaboration than sitting, and this is especially true in open-plan offices. People who are already on their feet tend to feel more action-oriented as their energy levels are boosted, so creativity and ideas flow. Some workspaces have introduced twin standing desks and standing conference tables to capitalise on this.
5. Reduces pain and discomfort Our bodies were not designed to sit all day, and doing so causes physical stress that can result in back pain, joint pain, nerve damage, and chronic headaches, along with a multitude of other health issues. And of course physical discomfort is very distracting, inhibiting productivity. Studies show that employees who use standing or height-adjustable desks are more focused and positive, with a heightened sense of wellbeing.
Just one extra hour of standing per day can make such a difference, sharpening decision-making and problem-solving. This is why more and more companies have started providing standing desks to their teams. In addition to improved employee health and wellbeing, they stand to receive an excellent return on investment through the inevitable upturn in employee productivity. https://www.chairoffice.co.uk/blog/8-incredible-benefits-of-standing-desks/ https://www.progressivedesk.com/blogs/wellbeing-productivity/5-benefits-of-standing-desks https://www.bureauone.com/blog/how-height-adjustable-desks-can-supercharge-your-productivity/ https://www.flexispot.com/spine-care-center/4-ways-standing-desks-improve-employee-productivity/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25168375/ https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/standing-desks-with-a-support-package-reduce-time-sitting-at-work/