Good employers have always done their best to promote health and well-being in their workers and not just because a healthy worker is energetic, has a better attitude, and needs to take less time off. Many companies are genuinely dedicated to being part of ‘the solution’ rather than ‘the problem’ and in light of recent studies, there’s no denying that sitting all day at work has become a major health problem. Companies have tried in-office gyms or gym membership vouchers, inviting landscaping with jogging paths, catering healthy lunches, and hosting employee sporting events. However, with heart disease, cancer, and waistlines still on the rise, it’s no wonder businesses are trying something new.
Standing Desks: Solution to Employee Health?
Standing desks address the age-old problem of leading a horse to water. You can make company gyms available and implement reward programs for using them, but you can’t actually force a steadily less healthy workforce to actually use the workout machines. Implementing standing desks, on the other hand, gets everyone up, on their feet, and their blood moving at a quick, healthy rate all within the usual work hours. In many ways, implementing a standing desk policy in your office can help to reverse some of the damage caused to your employees by years of sitting still and working for hours. While you may meet some resistance from your team about the change, the key to a successful standing desk transition is to do it gradually with the right posture, timing, and equipment.
Introduce Standing Desks Over Time
It’s important to understand when switching to a standing desk office that standing for long periods of time requires a number of posture and stability muscles that most people haven’t worked on, especially if eight hours of their day or more are spent sitting and working. This means that a full 100% transition is likely to see a lot of hurting feet, legs, and lower backs, not to mention the drop in productivity as fatigue sets in. Instead, it’s best to introduce standing slowly over time, adding an hour or two of standing per day each week with the help of soft fatigue mats for adapting feet.
This means that you don’t want single-height standing desks. While you can work with two desks at separate heights, the best solution is an easily height-adjustable standing desk that can transition depending on whether your employees need to be standing or sitting. This also allows you to make personalized adjustments to achieve the optimal standing desk height for each employee’s personal size.
Standing desks are one of the best things that has ever happened to office and employee health but introducing them to the team is only the beginning. Join us next time for the second half of this two-part series where we’ll talk about chair alternatives, posture, and new ways to think about standing.
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