As a company who supply top-end office furniture we practice what we preach. We have been using height adjustable desks for several years now and have found them to be both practical and efficient at improving our working days.
The experience that we have had in our offices has been backed up by scientific research at the University of Leicester. Publishing their findings recently in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers found that office workers spend up to 85% of their workday sitting in a chair. So the research team decided to see what difference it would make to provide some sedentary office workers with a sit stand desk and compare them to workers who continued to have their usual desks.
Of the 146 NHS staff studied, 69 continued to sit at their desks and 77 were given height adjustable sit-stand desks with the research being carried out over the space of a year. The average sitting time at the beginning of the study was 9.7 hours each day, and the amount of time spent sitting was measured at the start of the study and again at three, six and 12 months.
The results? When the workers swapped out traditional office desks for sit-stand versions, the time spent sat at their desks was reduced by more than 82 minutes per day.
As further proof that adjustable desks are good for workers, the researchers also found that the workers who spent less time sitting also experienced lower levels of anxiety and job fatigue, less back pain and more engagement in work.
Sit stand desks are not a miracle cure for office wellbeing but this research demonstrates that as part of an overall approach to putting employee’s health and happiness at the centre of office design, getting the right office furniture can improve productivity for traditionally sedentary workers.