Study Shows ‘Sitting/Standing’ Switching Boosts Employee Energy and Productivity

by: Nichole Gunn September 26, 2011

Businesses across the board are striving to help increase productivity and cut healthcare expenses with a focus on employee incentive programs; and the most effective type of programs are those that help enhance employee morale and wellness. Interestingly, new research demonstrates that simply reducing the amount of time an employee sits at his desk can benefit his health and well-being.

JourneyWell conducted a seven-week study that had workers alternate between sitting and standing during a common workday. The results demonstrated that this simple ‘switching’ of positions throughout the day resulted in a more focused, energetic, and productive workforce. JourneyWell is a HealthPartners wellness solution.

Utilizing the Ergotron WorkFit Stand Workstation, 67 percent of the participants found they felt healthier than the day before.

HealthPartners' vice president for health management and health science officer Nico Pronk, Ph.D., explained, “While these results are in line with common sense expectations, it is exciting to see that there is now an affordable way for corporations to mitigate the sedentary nature of most knowledge workers' routine.” He added that the results indicated a united company has the ability to enhance healthier workplace behaviors, bringing about significant results.

The study statistics were significant in themselves:

  • 87 percent of the participants cited being “more energized” and were better able to stand for longer durations during a typical workday
  • 75 percent cited feeling healthier
  • 71 percent cited being able to focus more
  • 66 percent were able to increase their productivity
  • 62 percent cited feeling happier

Ergotron CEO and president Joel Hazzard noted that “the research validates long-held assumptions that sit-to-stand computing can improve employee's wellness and productivity.” This will also have a “significant impact” on a business owner’s profitability. He went on to say that “translated across a larger population” businesses will be able to see increased productivity, decreased healthcare expenses, and a happier workforce.

The Just Stand Uprising, launched by Ergotron in 2010, was designed to generate an awareness of “sitting disease.” The Uprising program notes a Vanderbilt University 2008 study that consisted of 6,300 people. The results indicated that the general American population sits down 55 percent of their ‘awake’ time during an average day.

Hazzard explaind that from a business perspective, it’s difficult “to deny the long-term impact a program like HealthPartners' JourneyWell project can have on a company's bottom line, but even more so their employees' health."

Ergotron’s website states that the company builds products that offer customized technology matching individual physical needs; the products are designed to promote employee wellness, thereby increasing productivity, and boosting the company’s bottom line.