Using standing desks can improve workers’ performance, boost wellbeing and energy levels and reduce stress. That’s according to the findings of a major new study conducted by the University of Leicester, which has looked at the impact of using standing desks on the health of office workers.
How did it work?
The 12-month trial involved more than 750 council office workers, who were either randomly assigned to a control group, or benefited from interventions’ designed to reduce their sitting time and increase moving time at work, with some also receiving an adjustable height desk.
The workers’ movement levels were then measured and compared over the course of the test period.
Why office workers?
Sedentary lifestyles are known to increase the risk of chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, and cancer.
It is thought that office employees typically do the least exercise, spending around three-quarters of their shifts and two-thirds of their waking day sitting in a chair.
What the researchers found is that the use of standing desks was three times more effective at reducing sitting time than the other interventions alone. A positive change in behaviour was also maintained by those using standing desks, across the course of the trial.
Researchers also recorded improvements in stress, wellbeing, and a sense of work-related ‘vigor’, while in comparison the group with no interventions in place had more pain in the hips, knees, and ankles.
As someone who is a long standing advocate of tackling sedentary working practices through the use of standing desks, it’s amazing to see their benefits being placed under the microscope like this!
And, as our customers tell us – once you stand, you’ll never go back!
Something that wasn’t touched on in this report – but which is an angle we will be looking at in more detail ourselves here at I Want A Standing Desk – is whether the use of standing desks can also have additional benefits for office workers who are neurodivergent.
Through our work with schools and parents, we know our desks can make a huge difference for neurodivergent pupils in a classroom setting, and also when used for doing homework in a domestic setting – particularly for those children with ADHD.
We also know through our work with individuals who are neurodivergent that using a standing desk in the office, or for remote working, has been transformational for them. Which is why we want to dig a little deeper by conducting our own research project.
Over the next few months, we will be working with a number of organisations to conduct a month long trial. If you would be interested in finding out more, or your workplace may potentially like to take part in the trial, please email me using email@example.com