A new study has found that using a standing desk at work can increase productivity by up to 46 percent.
The study, which was published in the journal IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, looked at the productivity of employees at a pharmaceutical company’s call center for six months after standing desks had been purchased.
The call center employees’ job consisted of speaking with customers on the phone regarding health issues. Productivity was measured by measuring customer retention rates and whether timely and accurate information was provided.
During the first month of using a standing desk, employees were found to be 23 percent more productive than their sitting desk counterparts. In the five months following, the call center’s employees who used standing desks were found to be 53 percent more productive than those who worked while sitting.
The overall average productivity increase over the six month period was found to be the 46 percent figure.
This study is important in that it suggests that standing desks not only promote better health, but they increase worker effectiveness.
Some have called into question the results of the study, pointing out that the individuals within the standing desk group were more productive than the sitting desk group from the outset. This fact would diminish the true productivity increase of those who used standing desks.
It has also been pointed out that many positions are not conducive to standing at a desk.
Despite possible flaws in measurement, this study highlights a largely unexamined benefit in using standing work desks.