The 5 benefits of standing desks for businesses

Facebook, Google and Twitter are doing it, why aren’t you?

What are they all doing? They all offer their employee’s access to standing desks.

While you may supply standing desks to some of your employees, chances are that all of your employees do not have this luxury.

It is a megatrend sweeping Silicon Valley and you would be hard pressed to find an office there that doesn’t have a standing desk. Facebook Australia’s Head of Industry Melinda Petrunoff had this to say, “our employee’s love them and there is a significant return on investment (ROI) to the business”. So what is driving the ROI for progressive companies?

It turns out that there are 5 main benefits of standing desks:

  1. Less sick days

A 2012 VicHealth report estimates that back pain is costing the Australian economy a huge $11 billion every year and employers on average $7,400 per case. It also states that between 11% and 22% of all sick days can be attributed to prolonged sitting. Given the huge cost of sick days to Australian businesses these statistics alone should increase consideration of standing desks.

  1. Increased productivity

In a recent study by ReadWrite a group tested standing desks to determine changes in productivity. The test ran over a month and used applications to determine how productive people were. What they discovered was that productivity increased by a whopping 10% when people were standing.  Imagine what an additional 10% of productivity out of each employee would do to your output?

  1. Healthier workers

Prolonged sitting has been linked to problems with blood glucose control, which affects our ability to break down blood fats.  A 2013 BBC study found that when people stand their heart rate goes up by around 10 beats per minute. According to the study this small increase in heart activity converts to around 0.7 calories per minute. If you add this up, it converts to around 50 calories per hour or 30,000 calories per year. In terms of how much fat this is, it is around 4 kg’s of fat per year by doing nothing more than standing at work! Healthier, happier workers mean better workers.

  1. Improved focus

When we sit our brain associates it with rest and relaxation. On the flip side our brain associates standing with working. More specifically it is the slight discomfort of standing that forces us to focus in order to get the desired task finished more quickly. Clearly more focus equals better results.

  1. Increased life expectancy

The average office worker sits for between 8 – 12 hours a day in front of their computer and TV screens. A 2012 report by Dr Peter T Katzmarzyk found that reducing your sitting time by approximately half can actually increase your life expectancy by up to 2 years.  Longevity is clearly a good thing for business.

Similar to smoking, a lot of the risks associated with prolonged sitting cannot be undone by exercising for a few hours a day. The only way to truly make a change is to kick the habit and mix sitting with standing throughout the day.

Like everything, you have to weigh up the costs and the benefits. The great news is that costs are coming down and there are now companies, which allow you to retrofit your current desks. One such company is ZestDesk.com, which is in the process of developing a revolutionary portable standing desk. The desk is fully adjustable and can be placed on any desk instantly turning it into a standing desk.

So, will you be an early adopter or laggard in this mega trend?

Happy standing.

James Moore

James Moore is co-founder of ZestDesk.com, creators of an innovative portable standing desk that enables you to turn your everyday desk into a standing desk.

free "standing vs sitting at work" report

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47 reviews

ZestDesk (incl. laptop stand) + Bag: $299AUD (48% OFF)

All day at my laptop... it's great to be standing and moving while I work.

Final phase of my PhD means solid computer work: data analysis and writing, all day, every day. My main 'desk' is the family dining table, and the ZestDesk is great - it looks fine, it's easy to move when we want the space, and it's sturdy enough for me to lean onto whenever I gaze blankly at the screen (very important!). No more long bouts of sitting. I can feel the difference in my legs, back and shoulders. It's great. Thank you.

Love it!

Great little set up.. very sturdy and I like that I can mount my laptop up higher to keep my posture straight. Thanks guys! :)

New User, smitten.

I am smitten with my ZestDesk. For years, I had noted to my partner about how sitting at a desk was inhibiting my productivity. The chief reasons for this were two. First, I have a bad lower back. Too much sitting, even for someone with a healthy back, is still too much. Add chronic discomfort and its very counter-productive. Second, I am one of the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) nation. Sitting still isn't something I do well. With distractablity being heightened by stillness, again, sitting is NOT optimal. One day on Instagram, I stumbled across ZestDesk and showed it to my partner because it seemed like a good solution to my persistent, counter-productive problems. Being the angel she is, she put in an order while ZD was still in its prototype phase. I am forever thankful to her for doing so. Once my ZestDesk arrived, my hopes were met and my problems relieved, significantly. My ZD allows me the flexibility to work in more places, how I can best work in them. My back feels MUCH better. Standing allows me to shift my weight, walk about and focus my body better so my attention deficit is minimized appreciably. Also, getting on the floor has been an added bonus, as I sometimes prefer to sit in in lotus or half-lotus postion. The design of my ZestDesk is great. Its easy to open and collapse. Its weight is very manageable, factoring in for another bag carrying peripherals and personals. ZD also looks pretty cool, which doesn't hurt. If I were to suggest one change in ZestDesk's design, it would be in the platform's white laminate surface. It works just fine, and I'm sure it's weight consideration was part of its design choice. However, after working at my ZD for a while, the surface material doesn't feel great on my skin. I just wonder if a bamboo material could be considered in later versions. All in all, my ZestDesk has been a terriffic game changer. Thank you for the life-upgrade!!!

We all need a ZestDesk

After sacrificing my study for an extra bedroom that was needed I found myself working anywhere and everywhere, slumping over the edge of the lounge, or hunched over in bed while working on my laptop. My posture was suffering. The ZestDesk was the perfect solution. It's beautifully designed, super easy to set up, and turns out it's a great table for the kids to use when I'm not working on it! Win-win.