Be more productive with standing desks: study

Standing desks are known to bring health benefits, but they also make workers more productive, a new study by Texas A&M University suggests. 

Be more productive with standing desks: study

Even non-users will have to admit: Standing desks are really, really cool. Employees of Airbnb and Facebook, which have set up offices in Singapore, have the option to work in funky environments while standing at these desks.

Standing desks can be adjusted for height, encouraging users to spend less time sitting. Prolonged sitting can be detrimental to health as it increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Users of standing desks are also more productive, a recent study by Texas A&M University found. The study was published in the IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors journal.

Researchers monitored 167 employees of a call centre in Texas for six months. In particular, they tracked the productivity of workers with standing desks against those with standard, seated ones, using ‘successful’ calls as a barometer.

A ‘successful’ call meant that workers went through previous goals and set new ones with their clients. They also had to lock in a time and date for a separate follow-up call.

Workers with standing desks had 23 per cent more successful calls in the first month, when compared to those without. The figure increased to 53 per cent by the sixth.

“Pretty much all of their work time is spent at their desks,” one of the study’s authors Mark Benden told the Washington Post“They are measured at every second of every day. Every one of those successful phone calls in the call centre has a dollar value associated with it,” he added.

Participants also had their health metrics detailed through sense wear. This tracked body temperature, heart rate and number of steps among others, Mr Benden said. Those with standing desks had a higher step count and burned more calories.

Visit the Washington Post for the full report.

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