There is a wave of enthusiasm for sit-stand workstations in the workplace. Are the benefits real or is it all hype? Sit-stand workstations can end up costing quite a few pounds so you need to be sure you’re doing it for the
right reasons – and that you will see a return on your investment.
Here, Scandinavian Business Seating’s Stacey Turner gives five reasons why you should consider sit-stand for your workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are an owner, office manager, HR director or front-of-house employee, sit-stand benefits all.
- The problems of sitting all day are now well documented. Studies on both sides of the Atlantic confirm our sedentary lifestyles are slowly killing us.
- Research from workplaces in Australia supports this. Although the quality of office chairs has increased in recent years, sitting for long periods of time is bad for well-being. Sitting reduces blood flow and circulation while also slowing metabolism, leading to higher rates of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes, not to mention back pain and joint problems.
- Standing isn’t the solution either. In the early ‘90s even the British government realised the dangers of standing for too long at work. This is why they brought in legislation compelling employers to provide seating to any staff member able to perform their tasks sitting down. Standing for long periods affects muscles, bones, blood circulation and much more. Those who stand for excessive periods expose themselves to increased risk of blood clots, heart disease, varicose veins and leg swelling.
- Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while at work. It may seem far-fetched now, but there was a time when companies handling asbestos would have laughed at the idea of law suits from employees affected by what they handled at work. Yet asbestos claims are now the longest running mass litigation tort in the U.S.. What may not look like a threat today may come back to haunt you in the future, if you are deemed to have been negligent. While it’s unlikely that health issues related to seating (or lack of) will ever get anywhere near asbestos levels of seriousness, we shouldn’t be dismissive of our responsibilities to our workforce either.
- In the long run it may not be a cost but an investment. Studies show modern workers’ productivity to be anywhere from 45-85%. If we are honest, we can all admit to being inefficient or unproductive at times. This is often down to distractions, but the wrong tools also play their part. Having a chair or workstation that causes discomfort will certainly affect performance. The cost of lost productivity is severe and will quickly outstrip the costs associated with sourcing a good, ergonomic workstation set-up.
- It will create a better work environment. If the whole team feels happy and ‘well’ at work, it naturally leads to a better overall environment. Team spirit is higher, motivation increases and an overall feeling of goodwill thrives.
Despite the hype, there are real, tangible benefits to using sit-stand workstations. Sit-stand desks will be good for your organisation in the medium- and longterm. Don’t just assess the situation from the perspective of
pounds spent. Look at individual and organisational wellbeing. Consider productivity, health and team spirit. Imagine the workplace where you would love to work and do what you can to make it a reality.