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Standing Desks Hit South Korea

South Korea has a thriving, high-tech industry and a highly skilled, industrious workforce who have a reputation for being early adopters. One of the latest innovations being adopted in the workplace is standing desks. The Korea Times reports that the provider of the country’s biggest mobile instant messenger application service is encouraging staff to use standing desks. Kakao bosses say standing desks help people to concentrate more and are better for their health. Since switching to standing desks, they’ve also discovered that team meetings don’t last as long!

It’s the health benefits of working at a standing desk, however, that seems to have sold employees on the idea. One employee says his doctor told him he was in danger of damaging his spine if he carried on working in a seated, and sedentary position. Within a week of changing to a standing desk, all his pain had disappeared. The absence of pain also means he is able to enjoy his work better.

Like workers everywhere, South Koreans are aware of the health risks associated with spending long hours seated at a desk in front of a monitor, and more and more companies are switching on to the benefits of working at standing desks – a practice that first became popular in California’s Silicon Valley in a few years ago. Since Kakao has offered employees the option of using a standing desk, over 150 have done so, with over 40 more on the waiting list, a company spokesperson is quoted as saying. Other South Korean firms to encourage workers to use a height adjustable desk, or a sit stand desk, includes cosmetic company Amore Pacific and LG Electronics. The latter has gone even further and also installs treadmills under each stand up desk, if requested.

Management at all three firms are enthusiastic converts and say standing desks mean workers are less likely to become distracted and discussion between staff is easier because there are no partitions in the way. One worker has even credited a weight loss of 5kg in five months – and a better complexion – to the fact he’s changed to a standing desk! A standing desk means you don’t have to feel chained to a chair all day, although experts do recommend that people alternate between standing and sitting, with 50 minutes standing and 10 sitting, the suggested split in a working hour. With a height adjustable desk, alternating in this way couldn’t be easier!

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