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Standing Desks, Stand-up Desks


In case you didn’t know, a standing desk, aka a stand-up desk, is a desk that can easily convert to a working platform that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday. In some organizations they’ve become increasingly popular. But, are they truly a benefit? 

We’ve been curious for some time about this but found that research seemed to be in the early stages and feedback about the benefits vs. the drawbacks was not quite clear or definitive.

Our Pioneers Share Their Experience

Therefore, two of our employees opted to trial the stand-up desk to provide feedback to the local business community in the event it may be a consideration in your place of business. 

These employees volunteered to do so because each employee, both considered to be physically active, reported that sitting all day was often difficult and was making them feel lethargic during the afternoon.  

“When you are used to being a very physically active person on nights and weekends, an 8-hour sit can really cause a crash in your energy level,” commented Pauline Handy, Marketing Director at V.F. McNeil. Also, Handy, top right, was experiencing a moderate, lower back pain in the tailbone area, which she noticed was only happening during the work week after long periods of sitting. 

Although we cannot offer any specific medical proof that the stand-up desk improves overall health, we can provide feedback from these two employees who have reported their experience of each using two, height-adjustable work desks since the summer of 2018.

Pro: Beating the Afternoon Crash

Each employee reported that transitioning to a standing position during late afternoon when they would typically experience an energy level crash, the change in position substantially helped to alleviate a drop in their energy level and helped them to stay focused on the remaining tasks of the day. 

Each said that working in the standing position was also forcing them to move about in their work station when they were performing tasks, as opposed to rolling in a chair. One employee reported that she uses phone conversations with a headset to even do some light walking and stretching in place while she is in the standing position.

Pro: Tackling the Tailbone Pain

Handy reports that her lower back pain has drastically been reduced. “The only way to get rid of discomfort in that area is to, well… not sit on it,” she says humorously. “The only thing I did learn right from the start is to not be overly ambitious. Do your standing in time intervals, not all day. This can cause other back discomfort, as your body will be adjusting,” commented Handy. Lauren Rosadini, pictured top left, also purchased an anti-fatigue pad to allow her to stand in intervals, but for longer periods of time. 

Pro: An Unexpected Finding:  While standing each day took a little bit of getting used to, each employee’s initial concern with trialing the standing desk had to do with whether or not it would hinder their daily tasks like typing or moving through multiple monitors with ease and with the same level of concentration. 

We are happy to report that they each determined the change in position didn’t hinder this ability at all. In fact, neither employee had any slowdown in task function and it was reported that they felt more focused while standing because this kept their line of sight only on the task at hand, while other items remained below them on their desks not causing a visual distraction.

Con: Not All Standing Desks Are Created Equal

If you are considering this option for your employees, you need to be sure that your choices will be appropriate for all heights to remain ergonomically correct. The standing desks our employees chose were perfect for their heights. However, while testing with other employees in the office, it was immediately clear that the maximum height rise wouldn’t be appropriate for everyone. This is one thing we learned in the process, so carefully consider the specifications on each product.

Con: Conversion Has to Be Smooth

If possible, consult with your IT specialist on how best to position your new standing desks to be sure conversion happens smoothly to avoid equipment damage and frustration with raising and lowering. 

One employee had a small challenge in the beginning and had to relocate her computer tower to ensure a smooth transition when raising and lowering. On a side note, but a related note, these desks come in a manual raise and a power-operated raise. Our employees desks are manual and transition with ease, but if you want to go a step further, you can opt for the power raise. They are quite a bit more costly, but you know the needs of your staff better than anyone. 

Contact Us with Questions

Feel free to reach out to us at (203) 481-2684 and direct questions about this blog to either of our pioneers.

About V.F. McNeil Insurance

V.F. McNeil Insurance is a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency that provides its customers with a range of quality insurance products for the needs of families, individuals, and businesses in Connecticut.