Novel Workstations Boost Employee Productivity And Energy

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Technology has done much to improve productivity in the workplace. The problem is that many more workers today do little more than sit in front of a computer all day, and that can lead to health problems.

There may be a solution, however, in the form of an adjustable workstation that allows employees to alternate between sitting and standing whenever they want. Those that used such a device, a recent study showed, felt better and more active.

One of the most significant findings was a 50 percent reduction in reports of back and neck pain, say the trio companies reporting the findings: Ergotron, which manufactures the units; JourneyWell, a provider of workplace health and wellness programs; and Minnesota-based health-insurer HealthPartners.

The study involved 34 participants, largely female, 24 of whom used the flexible workstations. Overall, two-thirds of those who alternated between seated and standing positions reported feeling "a lot better," while the other third reported feeling "better."

In a statement announcing the study findings, HealthPartners vice president Nico Pronk says, "[The] results are in line with common sense expectations."

Additional findings from the study include:

  • 87 percent of participants who both stood and sat said they were more comfortable with the ability to stand
  • 87 percent said they felt more energized
  • 75 percent felt healthier
  • 71 percent felt more focused
  • 66 percent felt more productive
  • 62 percent felt happier

The workstations cost about $400 apiece. That may seem a tad pricey, but given the amount employers dole out each year to treat ailments related to computer-related repetitive stress injuries or bad posture from sitting too long, the units may prove a bargain to businesses willing to invest in them.

Further, what employer wouldn't want employees who, as the study finds, "feel more comfortable, energized, focused and productive"?

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