If you work in a traditional office setting, then chances are, you’ve spent the majority of your time in the office seated in an office chair. Not only that but there are probably more minutes of you being unproductive than you’d like to admit.
The answer, according to many, is standing desks, which help you avoid sedentary behavior that often leads to laziness.
But do standing desks improve productivity?
According to multiple studies, standing desks can help augment your productivity by allowing you to focus more, become a more creative thinker, and become more engaged with the work you’re doing overall. Additionally, standing helps improve posture, providing relief from lower back pain and helping you feel better, so you have more energy to perform.
There are a few hypotheticals to take note of. According to some, while standing desks didn’t increase their productivity, it helped them feel better while working.
That said, the benefits of standing desks don’t seem to go beyond improving your posture and helping boost focus.
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Are Office Chairs Making Us Lazier?
If you’re a regular office worker, the office chair is most likely one of the most familiar sights you will ever see or use. Ergonomic or not, office chairs are simple, functional, and will likely remain an office staple forever.
The problem, however, is that the office chair might be a contributing reason to your steadily declining work productivity. But how?
To meet the demands of a changing work environment, office chairs were made to be more ergonomic, providing more comfort and support than a regular chair wouldn’t be able to provide.
And while that comfort and support is a definite improvement, it can also kill your productivity. This is because, when combined with comfort and calmness, it’s all too- easy to become lazy in your sedentary, office-based role.
And when you feel lazy and sleepy, you end up working less and under-achieving in your performance. That’s not even mentioning the health complications that you will eventually get for sitting still for hours on end daily.
This is where standing desks come into the picture, aiming to provide an alternative solution that is incredibly simple but effective.
Do Standing Desks Improve Productivity and Focus?
When standing desks were first being advertised, the idea was that by letting you stand instead of sitting, you would lose weight and reverse the harmful long-term effects of sitting.
But we now know that this is false, as the growing body of research states that standing isn’t enough to fix the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle, nor is it sufficient to help you lose a significant amount of weight.
So what do standing desks do?
According to research, they can help give your noggin a boost in productivity and focus.
All standing desks follow the same idea – they let you work while standing. However, as it turns out, that one simple change can increase your productivity.
The gist is that you initiate stimulation in your brain and body by standing, helping you become more aware of your surroundings and feel physically active. And when you feel energetic and engaged, you can perform better and accomplish more tasks.
This way, standing desks indirectly impact your productivity by giving you an incentive to become more active. And when you’re used to spending the majority of your working hours sitting idly in a chair, a simple change in your surroundings can make all the difference and jumpstart your brain.
Furthermore, some people also reported that while standing desks didn’t personally affect their productivity, they felt better doing the same amount of work, which is incredibly important.
Aside from boosting your productivity, standing while working can also greatly enhance your focus, helping you work more efficiently without pushing yourself too much.
According to studies, standing helps bring nutrient-rich oxygen to the brain, therefore helping improve overall blood flow and circulation. The simple act of standing can also trigger a process called neurogenesis, which is responsible for generating new neurons that we tap into for critical thinking.
Of course, not all of these are immediate, and just standing isn’t the end-all-be-all of increasing productivity.
It would help if you practiced proper standing, as better posture can help reduce neck and lower pain, allowing you to focus better on the task at hand.
It’s also recommended to switch from standing to sitting constantly, as well as walking around to interact with your colleagues. Not only is this healthier for your body, but it also helps foster a more positive work environment, something every employee will surely benefit.
Still, it’s best to make the transition gradual and slow, especially if this is your first time trying a standing desk set-up.
Other Benefits of a Standing Desk
Aside from the boost in productivity and mental focus, standing desks promote a few other benefits, including:
The biggest benefit that this set-up provides is that standing desks help correct your posture, therefore providing long-term relief from back pain and other similar issues.
Extra Calorie Burn
While the calories you burn can be counted with your ten fingers, it’s better than nothing. Plus, chances are, switching to a standing desk will encourage you to move more, which is always a good thing.
Unsurprisingly, the rush of oxygen to your brain not only helps provide mental focus but also forces you to be alert and awake at all times. This can help you jump into any immediate task at hand with ease.
When you’re used to doing the same thing for so long (in this case, sitting while working), it can be tricky to get used to a new set-up, let alone one that puts you out of your comfort zone.
However, from the benefits listed above, it’s clear that the slightest change in your working environment can help trigger productivity and focus, all while giving you an incentive to move more.
So if you’re tired of sitting at a desk all day, you’d be pleased to know that standing desks are an ergonomic solution, giving you that change in scenario your brain needs to restart and become productive again.