The results are in from a GPN-American City & County poll on standing desks in the office: many of the 314 voters appreciate standing desks. About 53 percent (165 votes) believe standing desks boost productivity.

About 39 percent (122 votes) agreed with this statement on the ballot: More of my co-workers will be doing their jobs at standing desks in the future.

Daneen Kiger, Vice-President, Global Marketing at St. Paul, Minn.-based Ergotron, offers some insight on the poll results and standing desks. Her views follow. Go to this site to view the full line of Ergotron sit-stand products for the office. The image below on the left shows an Ergotron WorkFit-T sit-stand product.

GPN: Will more offices/workplaces start using standing desks in 2016?

Daneen Kiger: There will definitely be wider adoption in 2016. We are in fact really only beginning to scratch the surface of the potential standing desk market. When you look at every office environment, every computer desk or terminal, there is potential for that station to be replaced by a sit/stand alternative workstation.

Studies have proven that employee morale, health and productivity all receive a boost when these units are introduced. Our own studies also show that employee requests for a sit/stand desk option as a workplace benefit are on the increase, so we fully expect the trend to not only to continue, but also to increase in 2016 and beyond.

Other clues like web trends show “standing desks” key words/phrases trending up over traditional desk mounts or desks. Plus, mainstream media has fully embraced the trend, and the average computer user is more likely now, than ever before, to understand the risks and to take action on their own pain. We see more and more employees championing this with their HR teams too, versus it being driven just from the top down to the staff in the chairs.

Certainly, there are many viable solutions for governments and other organizations now too, depending on their budgets, to address not only their at-risk employees who sit the longest, but also, to take proactive measures to help keep their healthy employees healthy for years to come.

GPN: Are standing desks a healthy alternative to government staff and other workers?

DK: Absolutely. Excessive sitting throughout the day has been proven to be as dangerous as smoking a pack or more of cigarettes each day, and can quickly counteract the benefits of exercise and a healthier diet.

A few key stats show that excessive sitting has been cited as a key risk factor in four of the top seven U.S. killers: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. It has also been linked to obesity and mortality rates. Key fat burners shut off the minute we sit. For every two hours spent just sitting reduces blood flow, raises blood sugar and drops good cholesterol levels by 20 percent. Daily exercise is not enough to counteract sitting disease.

If you are a physically inactive person, you are at “significant risk” for becoming ill due to certain diseases. Even if you are physically active, you are still at “high risk” for contracting disease if you are too sedentary during the workday.

Many of the top experts are beginning to suggest changing seated to standing postures every 30 minutes, but this isn’t always possible for workers who have to stay productive at their workstation. By allowing the workstation to move with the worker, they can achieve the body relief they need from these posture changes and stay working. Plus, the added benefit of fewer health claims relating to back and neck issues keeps workers in the office and focused as well.

We see sit-stand solutions across all markets now, with broad adoption into healthcare, education, government and businesses. Plus, health organizations like the American Medical Association are beginning to address this. A policy from 2013 stated employers should offer alternatives to workers who sit for prolonged periods, like standing desks. And as your GPN-American City & County poll indicates, workers want them. An Ipsos public affair survey found 70 percent of workers would use a sit-stand desk if their employers offered it.

GPN: Thank you, Daneen Kiger, for your views.

The video shows how the Ergotron WorkFit-T easily converts your a desktop into a flexible sit-stand workstation.


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