Today we’re looking at how an employee can benefit from the addition of an adjustable standing desk or a comfortable, ergonomic chair — and why it’s an excellent business decision.
Business owners: would you ever knowingly put your employees in any sort of danger?
I’m guessing the answer is no, but the fact is, if they’re working at unergonomic desks and chairs that are not designed to support and comfort the body properly, then their health could very much be at stake. Furniture that isn’t up to the task can really take its toll on multiple parts of the human body — it can lead to all sorts of chronic aches and pains and do serious damage to the necks, backs, legs, shoulders of your employees. The consequences of ill health are obviously not good for morale and productivity, which obviously have an impact on their output and your bottom line.
Research has long shown that prolonged sitting is certainly not good for a person’s health. Unfortunately, many jobs today simply require us to be in front of a computer for extended periods of time — it’s just how the modern workplace has evolved and doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. The changes we need to make do not lie in ‘what’ we do, but rather ‘how’ we do it.
So how do we start to mitigate the damaging effects of prolonged sitting? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple — we stop sitting for so long. Providing your employees with an adjustable standing desk is a great way of easing them into the standing work lifestyle and working against the health issues tied to being seated for 6–8 hours a day. They can sit or stand as they see fit and gradually transition to standing for longer periods of time — they’ll stay healthy, be more productive and you’ll reap the benefits of a happy, healthy employee. It’s a win-win situation.
Quite a few big-name corporations are starting to take notice of this, and the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook is a fierce proponent of this cultural change in the workplace. He has ensured that all of his employees have a height-adjustable standing desk and are well aware of the benefits. If the boss of a company worth over a trillion dollars feels that it’s good for productivity, then it’s probably worth taking notice.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the science behind it all.
The Benefits of Upgrading to an Adjustable Standing Desk
Let’s say that your current work environment is filled with older desks and chairs that do not conform to good ergonomic standards. You might hear your employees complaining about a whole raft ailments, such as:
· Neck pain — This is typically caused by an improper sitting level. If your head isn’t level, then you’re either slouching or craning and putting undue strain on your neck.
· Lower back pain — Often caused by a lack of lower-lumbar support from your office chair.
· Carpal tunnel — Another side-effect of improper sitting and caused by the wrist being bent at an angle rather than straight.
· Tight shoulder and upper back muscles — Which results from incorrect posture and seating position.
· Leg pain — Another seat height-related issue. Make sure your knees are bent at 45 degrees and feet are flat on the floor.
If you haven’t noticed a drop off in productivity or an increase in employees calling in sick or taking short-term disability to leave to address these problems, then it’s more than likely only a matter of time before you do. For those who are still at work, morale is almost certainly going to be down because they’re uncomfortable at their workstations and probably feeling undervalued based on the conditions they’re dealing with.
As all successful business owners know, employees are the lifeblood of the company and need to be looked after. Healthy members of staff are going to be happier, which will lead to a more productive workforce and a downturn in time lost from sick leave.
To get on the right track, it’s definitely time to start upgrading your office furniture. Get rid of any old desks and chairs that aren’t ergonomically sound and replace them with adjustable stand up desks and supportive, comfortable chairs. Even turning your workplace into a more modern setting can greatly increase the morale of your employees. Not to mention that ergonomic furniture will improve posture, encourage better blood circulation, and ward off the illnesses and conditions exacerbated by prolonged sitting — such as diabetes, obesity and even some types of cancer.
So let’s take a look at what furniture options you should be looking out for.
What kind of desk should I buy?
There are various features of standing desks that you should look out for, but there are three that are particularly important.
The first to look at is a high degree of adjustability. The desk you want should be able to smoothly transition between a variety of heights, so you can find the perfect levels for sitting and standing. Desks that have a motorized frame also make this task easier.
Next is a decent amount of workspace. While different people have different needs, nobody wants to be restricted when it comes to their working area. Plus, it’s better to have the option of more than less room to maneuver.
Finally, the lifting capacity of the desk. You don’t want a desk with either wimpy electric motors or one that is unable to take all the computers or other equipment required. Look for desks that are comfortable with taking 250+ lbs of gear without breaking a sweat.
What are some good models to consider?
All Autonomous desks tick the boxes mentioned above — they have dual-motor frames capable of quickly and quietly raising or lowering 300 lbs worth of equipment, and there are a variety of styles and versions to choose from.
The standard model is the SmartDesk 2, an affordable and stylish standing desk. For those looking for a corner option there is the L-Shaped SmartDesk. For creative types there is the Art Desk, and for people looking for some shapely curves, there’s the Executive model.
While standing is undeniably a good choice, people still need to sit from time to time too. Let’s take a look at what chairs you can pair with your choice of SmartDesk.
All Autonomous Chairs are designed with full ergonomic functionality in mind. For those who are looking to go for a more active experience there’s the ErgoStool, which is designed to strengthen your back and core. For those looking for a great blend of comfort and support, there are several choices to choose from, ranging from the ultra-affordable MyoChair, all the way up to our premium flagship, the game-changing Kinn Chair.
What it all boils down to
The time has come for all business owners to help their employees take a stand against the health and productivity issues caused by poorly designed pieces of furniture. A relatively small investment in your office equipment can be very prudent and save a lot of time, money and ill health later on down the line.