Novel Workstations Boost Employee Productivity And Energy

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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