Responsible Employers Should Be Getting Standing Desks
Standing desks might just have the best ROI for employers since the computer, and international experts are asking companies to step up and help their staff to stand up.
A team commissioned by the US government to produce guidelines for employers that would promote worker health shows we should aim for four hours of office-related movement a day.
You won't get that movement sitting at your desk. Get a standing desk, and a few leaders to demonstrate how it works, and you're on your way to having a healthier, more productive workforce. It wasn't just the US government. The UK government also commissioned a special crack team to provide guidelines for employers to improve the health of workers in office jobs.
The team included Australian experts from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes institute, and they also found the need for 4 hours a day of standing or light walking to improve health. And we all know healthier workers are harder workers. They take less time off work (less sick days), are less likely to leave, and are more productive when they're at work.
And if any further convincing is required, this translates into increased profits and lower expenses for companies. Suddenly the cost of that standing desk is looking like quite the bargain. Yet it appears that companies still need some educating on adjustable height sit stand desks.
At home, I can attest that Canadian companies (and specifically companies in Toronto) are slowly getting on board and buying standing desks for their staff. It still seems more of a 'special request', or a 'medical purchase' than a productivity improvement purchase though, even though the evidence is insurmountable and the return on investment for offices is clear.
How to get standing desks in your company (or your department)?
On an individual basis, you can simply approach your manager / superior / office manager and request to get a standing desk for medical or productivity purposes.
It is ALWAYS better to put the request in writing (email leaves a trail and works well). This will force them to respond in writing (if they DON'T respond in writing, ask them to do so 'for documentation purposes').
MOST employers WILL SAY YES. Sometimes they will ask for a doctor's note. If you have ever had back pain (and many of us have), more and more GP (general practitioner medical doctors) will acknowledge the benefit of a standing desk. As another option, you could approach a chiropractor and ask them for a note. If you are in a larger company, you could try a group request.
This engenders the power of numbers, and shows management that you are all serious, and that this is one-off request. It is always helpful to provide published third party studies or reputable sources identifying the benefits of sit stand desks (there are
SO MANY out there - do a simple google search and you will be inundated). If you are part of management, YOU should be acting now, and asking your employees who wants a standing desk or a standing desk converter. Don't you want them to be happier, healthier, and more productive? Ask them who would want a standing desk.
Even if it only starts with a few people, that is enough to get ball rolling. Often, once the other employees see the advantages of standing, they will be clamouring to get one themselves. And don't forget to get desks for yourselves! Management should be leaders and demonstrating proper habits to their staff.
The call is out!
Companies need to do the right thing and take care of their employees.
Sometimes they need a little push though.
Let's help them (and ourselves) out :-)