Back in the day, the standing desk may have been the reserve of ‘that guy’ with the power stance and the loud phone conversations, now legions of converts evangelize about its health and productivity benefits.
But are standing/adjustable desks really worth all the hype and perhaps, more importantly, are they worth the money?
Unsurprisingly, converts to the standing desk can sing their praises all day long, but what are their true merits. Well, here are a few of the most commonly cited ones:
Are standing desks the answer to all your office problems?
Sick days- with over 149 million workdays annually attributed to lower back pain and much of it ascribed to poor posture while seated, the standing desk could be a great weapon in the arsenal. According to studies, it can even help with cardiovascular health.
Versatility:- If we do ever go back to the days of sharing desks. The adjustable desk provides you an office environment both HR and Legal will be happy with.
Variety:- Many health care professionals recommend altering your position regularly. The standing desk allows you to do this without all the kerfuffle of moving your entire set up.
Long meetings - Standing desks in meeting rooms might be the remedy. The sheer fact of standing can often remind people to keep it brief.
Creative mixing - Standing seems to encourage people to interact more and be less defensive of their territory and ideas. In their excellently named study Get Up, Stand Up: The Effects of a Non-Sedentary Workspace on Information Elaboration and Group Performance. Prof. Baer and Prof Knight show how it improves the creative process and may lead to better outcomes.
On the downside:
- Cost - There is no sugar coating it they can be relatively expensive upfront.
- Complicated - Adjusting and securing older models used to be quite involved, to say the least. However, the latest iterations seem to have largely overcome this but it’s worth doing your research.
Overall, while we probably won’t be joining the people waxing lyrically about standing desks when we do, eventually, return to the huddle around the conference coffee station, they do certainly seem to have a lot of very tangible benefits.