Stand-up desks increase productivity and decrease discomfort, study finds

  • Print.

stand-up desk

Stand-up desks increased productivity by 46 percent for call-center workers studied over a six month period.

The study of 167 workers by Texas A&M measured how many successful calls the workers completed each hour, report Science Daily, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

One group of 74 workers used stand-capable workstations while the other 93 workers sat while working. Workers at the stand-capable desks spent an extra 1.6 hours a day on their feet than the workers using traditional work stations.

Researchers believe the increased productivity stems partly from another finding: About 75 percent of the workers with stand-capable desks experienced less discomfort after using the desks for six months. Feeling good can affect the way you relate to others in a phone call, points out one of the researchers, Mark Benden, director of Texas A&M’s Ergonomics Center and a professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Benden told the Wall Street Journal that workers who stand are more likely to “wiggle, wobble, pivot, lean, perch, etc.,” and that can make a difference in an age of “technology-induced inactivity.”

Benden told the Chicago Tribune he was “absolutely blown away” by the findings. “Those percentages are very high,” he told the newspaper. “Do I think they’re unique to this environment and this culture? Yes. But my goodness. If you got half of those results you’d be thrilled. The small investment you’d make in the workplace environment would be well worth it.”

See also:

ABA Journal: “Some firms are trimming their footprints creatively and efficiently”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.