ReadWrite Put Standing Desks to the Test

October 18, 2013

Last month ReadWrite, as part of the series ReadWriteBody, put standing desks to the test. Employees from the Draugiem Group, an IT firm in Latvia, used adjustable height desks for one week and posed the question: Are you really that much more productive at the office?

The results speak for themselves.

Skeptics believed it was the next Silicon Valley fad, since adjustable height desks in the workplace is the mark of a hip, tech-savvy office (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Google, Facebook Twitter and AOL are just a few companies that have jumped on the standing desk bandwagon. But they were convinced otherwise once they gave it a try.

They also noted that the editor-in-chief of ReadWrite Owen Thomas has taken sit to stand desks to the extreme with his treadmill desk – which he proudly uses on a daily basis.

The employees at Draugiem Group scientifically measured the impact standing desks had on four different stages: productivity, wellbeing, concentration, and the ability to work.

They took it to the next level and used an app they created called DeskTime to accurately track productivity at the office. It’s really useful, so if you’re in the market for something to help manage employees or keep yourself on track, check it out HERE.

And how much did the employees progress after using an adjustable height desk? They proved to be 10 percent more productive during the one week experiment. If 10 percent seems small, think of it in the long-term.

That 10 percent boost in productivity every week can lead to a lot more “taking care of business” throughout the entire month, and that doesn’t include the overall physical and mental health benefits the participants in the study experienced by switching to a sit to stand desk.

Unfortunately the standing desks didn’t help them lose weight or cure any diseases, but it was only a week-long experiment, and we’re always thinking about the long-term benefits over at Xdesk.

One interesting thing the participants experienced while standing behind an adjustable height desk was a sense of urgency to complete the task at hand. They went on to explain that standing worked well for tasks that needed to be completed quickly and accurately, while sitting allowed their minds to wander when they were working on something more creative.

This fact is a win-win situation, since it’s not only about standing all day during the workday, it’s about having the flexibility to switch between sitting and standing positions for the best possible outcome.

Thankfully Xdesk gives you the freedom of movement, so if you’re feeling the pressure from that spreadsheet while standing behind an adjustable height desk, with the small touch of a button you can sit back and relax, without having to look away from your task.

Other things they noted (to no surprise) were higher energy levels. No more food comas after lunch, or the need to grab a third cup of coffee for the day. Other results were higher concentration levels on set tasks. The desire to check emails and browse social media was eliminated while standing.

And on an even more positive note, one participant had fewer headaches while another realized standing more behind his adjustable desk helped stave off cigarette cravings. If that isn’t benefitting your health we don’t know what is!

The article mentions other good things like standing desks throughout history, and goes into detail about the influential companies today that use adjustable desks. To read the whole thing, check it out HERE.

What do you think about this experiment? Give it a try yourself and tell us how it worked!

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