Standing Desks Increased Work Productivity Over Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gregory Garrett, BS. MA.
Doctoral Research Assistant
School of Public Health
Texas A&M Health Science Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sedentary behavior in office environments is greatly contributing to obesity, increased body discomfort, and possible reductions in employee productivity. Sit-stand desks have been implemented to aid in reducing sedentary behavior, however employers are concerned that benefits may not offset the initial cost of implementation. In this study, employees with stand-capable workstations were compared to traditional seated employees on an objective measurement of productivity in a call center. The employees were monitored for 6 months and those with the stand-capable workstations were ~46% more productive per hour than their seated counterparts. Additionally, 75% of those with the stand-capable desks reported a significant decrease in body discomfort.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should understand that there is an indication stand-capable desks, as an ergonomic intervention, can reduce body discomfort and improve their productivity.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It is possible that other underlying mechanisms, other than body discomfort, may have influenced the results such as cognitive performance. Current research is being performed to assess the effect of light physical activity (standing) on cognitive performance. It is possible that increased standing may improve cognitive functioning in the frontal regions of the brain which can enhance attention and focus.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Based on the results of this study, productivity was improved for those individuals using stand-capable desks. Interestingly it should be noted that at the beginning of the study, the stand-capable group’s productivity was not significantly different than the seated group but improved over time. This suggests that increased productivity is not immediate and employees must become accustomed to standing throughout the day.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Gregory Garrett, Mark Benden, Ranjana Mehta, Adam Pickens, Camille Peres, Hongwei Zhao. Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing Desk Intervention. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 2016; 00
DOI:10.1080/21577323.2016.1183534

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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