Height Adjustable Desks and the Future of Workplace Health
A height adjustable computer desk allows workers to move easily and quickly from seated to standing positions, offering numerous health and productivity benefits. Not only does it make for a more dynamic work environment, but it can create a more productive way of working too.
And in recent years, they’ve moved from a rare novelty in offices to a much more common fixture because businesses have realised the potential of this way of working. With this in mind, what do height adjustable computer desks offer in terms of workplace health and how can companies take advantage?
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The rise of height adjustable computer desks
Adjustable height computer desks may seem like a new product, but they date back further than you might think. In fact, some of the earliest adopters of height adjustable desks were famous names like Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway who realised the benefit of working while standing.
Sitting for too long can leave its mark on your body and mind, causing back and neck pain, migraines and headaches, joint pain and more, even if you’re sitting in a relatively ergonomic posture. In fact, sitting is considered as bad for us as smoking, according to some experts, because of the increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
So, it’s easy to see why more people are adopting a sit-stand way of working. In fact, when it comes to a computer desk, height adjustable solutions are a common feature in other European destinations, with countries like Denmark making it a legal requirement for companies to offer employees the choice to use one.
The WELL certification, a building standard companies should adhere to, to enhance people’s health and wellbeing, advocates for the use of height adjustable desks. This certification argues that at least 25% of workstations should have the option for staff to switch between sitting and standing, whether that’s with a height adjustable computer desk or desktop accessories that make it possible to take advantage of more flexibility in the workplace.
Since the COVID pandemic, more organisations are looking for ways to support their employees’ health and wellbeing. With many benefits to enjoy as a result of using a height adjustable desk, from improved posture and circulation to the mental health advantages it offers, it’s expected that sit-stand desks will be a more common feature in offices around the country.
The benefits of standing desks for our health and wellbeing
Increased mood and energy
Sit-stand desks can help to boost circulation, lower blood pressure and relieve pressure on our back and joints, which improves our health and reduces the risk of chronic health conditions. But they can also help to increase your productivity too, because they help you to feel less lethargic, improving your mood and energy levels.
Sitting in a fixed position all day leads your brain function to slow down, resulting in you feeling fatigued and struggling with brain fog. But moving between sitting and standing gets the blood flowing to the brain and improves energy levels, which consequently improves your mood.
Sitting down for 8 hours a day, even if you have an ergonomic office chair, can wreak havoc on your back and neck, leading to chronic discomfort and pain for workers. But a height adjustable desk alleviates this risk, giving staff the option to move more throughout the day while still staying productive. Staff can work comfortably and protect their posture, which increases productivity but also reduces the risk of lost work days due to staff absences.
Our bodies were made to move and sitting for too long causes issues with our circulation, our core strength and our leg muscles. By sitting all day at work, you increase the risk of blood pooling in your legs, which in a worst-case scenario can even cause blood clots. Standing more throughout the day keeps your circulation flowing healthily and your leg muscles working, which reduces pressure on your heart and reduces the risk of blood clots, improving cardiovascular health overall.
How height adjustable desks improve workplace health
Studies suggest that nearly 80% of UK graduates surveyed believe that UK employers should provide staff with the right to move while working by having sit-stand desks in place, and over 60% believe that having access to sit-stand desks is as important as other employer benefits such as a company pension, company car or gym membership. These findings aren’t surprising given that 69% of new graduates feel sluggish at work regularly. Height adjustable desks help to relieve postural problems and help workers feel more energised and motivated.
Disengagement, illness and injury, burnout and low morale are all causes of absenteeism in businesses, and all impact our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Simply by enabling staff to move more throughout the day with a height adjustable desk, businesses can reduce the risk of these problems causing staff to phone in sick.
Absenteeism not only creates a poor workplace culture, but it costs businesses thousands every year in lost productivity, so it’s in a company’s best interests to invest in tools and processes which develop a healthier workforce and a happier work culture. A dynamic workplace environment can help to improve morale and energy levels among staff, but it can also reduce the risk of lethargy and fatigue, back pain and joint problems, and also chronic conditions related to poor circulation and lack of movement.
It’s clear that height adjustable computer desks offer clear health and productivity benefits, giving employees more control over their work environment and reducing fatigue in the workplace.
A sit-stand desk can help to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions and improve mental health, which in turn reduces absenteeism and staff productivity issues due to sickness and fatigue. But it also supports a more agile workplace, encouraging interaction and collaboration in your business. It’s a benefit for both staff and employers, creating a happier, healthier workplace.