Office Productivity And Standing Desks

Office productivity...

Office productivity

Resimercial may be a new buzzword, but it is one with important implications for your office productivity.  While twenty-first-century office culture is shifting away from the sterile “traditional office” stylings that have been dominant for over a century, the new sentiment around workplace design emphasizes healthy environments and employee satisfaction.

Office innovations for emotional and physical health

Office innovations for emotional and physical health

The choices driving this cultural change include such innovations as creating pet-friendly workspaces. Uneebo is here to support upgrades to your office suite as well as help in the coordination of your commercial interior design, facilitating the delivery of office furnishing and plants, to mention but a few. We strive to become a market leader in new office innovation and design and have helped our clients plan workspaces and select ergonomic furniture and other office essentials for their offices with also providing affordable office interiors for startups.

Sitting all day is really unhealthy

Health is the first thing you want to keep in mind when thinking of your office design. A sedentary office is an unhealthy office and there are mounting numbers of studies showing that sitting all day in front of a computer screen is a seriously unhealthy habit which also reduces office productivity. Fewer workers are getting through the important tasks on their to-do list. What’s more, all that sitting cannot be effectively counteracted by a walking routine.  Being able to move is what the human body was designed for. Sounds like a no brainer, right?  But think about the fact that most of our work hours involve sitting in front of the computer using programs such as Microsoft Office Suite or Excel Spreadsheets, or even professional social media pages.  Remember in school when we used to take a gym class? That was designed to get us up and moving; yet the more we engage with technology, the less physical movement we exert.   And this issue has been a growing one in the study of healthy workplace environments.

The study of how we work has led to the ergonomically designed office suites.  And that means ergonomically designed office furniture is the wave of the future. Ergonomics is the study of work motion and the individual performing it.  The idea is to reduce the instances of repetitive motion injuries; the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) called them musculoskeletal disorders.  Spending too much time sitting is very bad for your health, and people who have jobs where they sit for extended periods tend to be at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, among other ailments like obesity.  When you think of how few calories you burn when you are performing desk work, including phone calls, the correlation becomes clear.

Ergonomics and physical health, sit-stand desks

Ergonomics and physical health, sit-stand desks

Health concerns are a significant problem for office workers which are also reducing office productivity; sitting down for most of the day is a habit that ergonomic engineers are helping us to break.  Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular in all types of office environments. You may have seen standing desks on social media or retailer websites. Even well-known companies are using standing desks in their office suites, from the Google office to Microsoft office. In fact, a worker at the Microsoft Office who tried a standing-desk experiment had reported feeling more alert with less back pain. You should think about including standing desks in office interior design. Standing desks also referred to as sit-stand desks, are those desks that can adjust the level of the working platform.  What this means is that you can work at the desk while sitting, leaning, or standing as is your preference, so you are not spending too much time sitting as you work or make phone calls.  Studies have found that, in addition to health benefits, these types of desks can promote productivity and one’s sense of well-being. Standing desks help more workers complete the important tasks on their to-do list. Now, with the change to sit-stand desk comes additional noise, but you can use white noise to reduce the sound.

Moreover, this is partly due to the physiological effects of using a standing desk. Typically, our blood sugar levels increase after a meal, and this is one of the worst times to be laying down or sitting.  By standing, one can affect a change in the spike in blood sugar significantly, which helps those who have type 2 diabetes.  Because of the extra muscles used when standing, a standup desk helps to encourage weight loss by helping to burn more calories than would otherwise be the case when sitting down.  While it is a good idea to engage in regular exercise, one can begin a solid routine by starting with the simple step of remaining standing at their workstation after lunch.  Another benefit of the standing desk platform is the reduced risk of heart disease and increased flexibility that comes from reduced back pain.  It has been known for decades that those who remain upright and mobile in their jobs tend to be significantly healthier than others who spend the day sitting.  Think of postal carriers with walking routes – they are known to have among the best cardiovascular health among any worker.

A healthy office is a happy office

A healthy office is a happy office

The importance of maintaining a healthy office is that it affects much more than the bottom line.  Employees who encounter physical pain and mobility issues are more likely to encounter accidents when outside of work, meaning more missed work hours.  Though most of the musculoskeletal complaints involve lower back pain, a good portion affects hands and arms.  The symptoms appear as numbness and shaking of the hands and forearms.

Unless there are deeper medical issues involved, musculoskeletal conditions can often be treated in the same fashion as other noncommunicable diseases like obesity, smoking and poor nutrition, where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  And this is where a thoughtfully designed and ergonomically sound office can really help turn things around.  

An ergonomically savvy office design understands ahead of time what the most common injuries are likely to be and then takes steps to remedy the issues.  For the health of your team, it is time to follow the lead of Google, Dell and the Microsoft office with sit-stand desks. By including sit-stand desks and exercise-friendly communal areas and including back-friendly office chairs and desk, more and more businesses are discovering that this ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure. Another way to increase office productivity is by adopting an agile approach. Mentally and emotionally happy employees who have access to a healthy exercise venue are the front-line against an unhealthy office!

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