Do you want your employees to be more productive? What can you do to improve their engagement and creativity? With the potentially harmful effects of prolonged periods of sitting now recognised, standing desks have gained in popularity.
Many studies have been carried out to support the theory including researchers at the University of Missouri (1999) published research. They found that sit down meetings are on average 34% longer than standing meetings. Sitting down not only has poor health implications but can also affect the level and quality of work produced.
Headset manufacturers, Sennheiser Communications surveyed 2000 workers in 2015 about how they act during meetings. The results revealed that a staggering 70% of people zone out during meetings (during the first 20 minutes), with 20% physically falling asleep (for approximately two minutes) and 10% making mistakes due to not listening properly. 50% also found that they spent time doodling in a notepad during their meetings.Could standing meetings help overcome this?
What are the benefits?
Sitting down has been described as the new smoking and is detrimental to your health. In 2014, Washington University Business School reported that standing up was not only better for you but promoted ‘greater collaboration and creativity’ during meetings. According to the learning theory known as ‘embodied cognition’, moving your body helps to reinforce your cognitive processes, so you will actually learn more easily and faster if you’re up and about instead of becoming relaxed and zoning out.
Impact on your health
Men’s Journal Magazine, feature article by Lisa Marshall “Sitting: The Most Unhealthy Thing You Can Do”, reveals latest statistics (March 2015) about the impact sitting all day can have on your health no matter how much you exercise around it. Some of the health implications include:
• Slower blood flow resulting in clumping of red blood cells in legs
• 20% drop in “good” cholesterol
• Risk of heart disease becomes up to two and a half times greater
• Rise in chronic inflammation
• Doubling risk of diabetes
What can you do to maximise the productivity of your meetings and employees?
As an employer there are many ways that you can influence and encourage your staff to participate in the stand up trend, such as:
• Encourage moving, standing and stretching
• Rooms should be laid out to support people standing at the back or in designated standing areas
• Include standing tables as an option during longer meetings
• Schedule short breaks throughout meetings to ensure that no one is sitting still for too long