There is some lively debate going on outside the political campaign trail right now centered around the effectiveness of sit-stand workstations. Sometimes they’re a passing fad, or even a possible health hazard, but currently we’ve seen reports lauding them for significantly improving performance.
“Want to Get More Done at the Office? Just Stand,” recommends the Wall Street Journal. And Inc. magazine proclaims: “Your Productivity Will Increase by 46 percent if You Stand at Your Desk, Says Study.”
The reason for the change in reporting? A new study by Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health, which monitored 167 employees at a Texan call center for six months. It showed that employees working at sit-stand desks made 23 to 53 percent more successful calls than co-workers at traditional desks.
The findings were recently published in the Journal IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors.
“We hope this work will show companies that although there might be some costs involved in providing stand-capable workstations, increased employee productivity over time will more than offset these initial expenses,” said Mark Benden, Ph.D., C.P.E., associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, director of the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center and member of the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, and one of the authors of the study.
Most people who try a sit-stand desk first notice increased productivity, better focus, and less mental fatigue. Next, they notice decreased back pain, body aches, and physical fatigue. Even slight increases in movement throughout the day can lead to significant gains in overall health, personal productivity and organizational results.
The study helps round out the productivity question for business leaders analyzing sit-stand for their organization. Research has already shown the inherent productivity benefits associated with office related ergonomics, even from dual monitor usage. This study moves the productivity dial, and the debate, in a new direction.
Debate is good.