Walk into any office today and you’ll probably see several people standing at their computers.
Last year, the Boston Globe reported a 50% increase in sales of standing desks over the previous year. And last month, the Harvard Business Review published a survey finding that participants of walking meetings report being more creative and engaged in their jobs.
The EventBoard office is part of both these trends. We can adjust the height on any of our desks. Bryan Oram, who’s on our rockstar sales team, recently changed the height on his desk so he can work standing up. He also has a tall chair near his desk, in case he wants to sit for a while.
Bryan’s one of our in-office fitness experts – ask him about nutrition sometime – so he’s a pretty health-conscious guy. If he sits too long, his back starts to hurt. Plus, sometimes standing up can jumpstart your train of thought. Bloomberg Business noted recently that people think more clearly when their blood is flowing.
We like how Bryan puts it: “If your bum is numb, so is your brain. We think better when our blood is flowing.”
Many companies now give employees the freedom to work at standing desks or encourage them to stand up and walk around more often. It’s all part of a push to make office spaces more active and keep desk jobs from being so sedentary. Solutions can be simple, like Bryan’s standing desk, or go high tech.
Stand, Walk, Pedal
On the low-tech end, walking and stand-up meetings are great for brainstorming or doing a quick progress report – basically for any discussion that doesn’t require a computer. Stand-up meetings can take place in the office. Walking meetings can, too, but they’re more refreshing if you go outside.
In fact, one of our exec team members has different routes around our office neighborhood that he likes for walking meetings. He makes his route selection based on how long he expects a particular discussion to run.
Don’t have time to leave the building? For your next meeting, book a conference room on a different floor – and take the stairs to get there. (Tip: EventBoard makes it easy to find available conference rooms anywhere in your organization, whether it’s on a different floor or another building.)
If you love tech, you probably already know that Apple Watch can be set to ping you if you’ve been sitting too long, reminding you to get up and move around. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, there are, of course, apps that do much the same thing.
In addition to standing desks, you can find other products ranging from fun to … well, they’re probably overkill for most of us. There are stationary-bike desks and small pedal devices that fit under a traditional desk and allow the user to pedal while working. You’ll also see desks with treadmills attached.
Not all of these solutions will last beyond the trendy stage – even The Onion weighed in on the sit-stand debate earlier this year – but there’s no doubt that people are more aware of the health risks of sitting in the same position all day, every day. So smart companies will adopt at least some solutions to accommodate the move to more flexible and active work styles.
Other Simple Ways to Keep Moving
Can’t wait for the standing desks to arrive? Here are some steps you can take now to get some of the same benefits.
- Use a printer or water fountain on a different floor – and take the stairs to get there. (Tip: If your EventBoard account includes the Maps feature, you can view interactive floor plans that show the location of building amenities including printers, food and drink, and office supplies.)
- Leave the office for an afternoon stroll or coffee run.
- Get up to talk to a colleague instead of sending an email.
Standing Desks: Does Your Office Need Them?