Can an Active Workstation Make You Happier and More Productive?

Can an Active Workstation Make You Happier and More Productive?

What is Sitting Disease? Reading Can an Active Workstation Make You Happier and More Productive? 3 minutes

Research into active workstations such as standing and treadmill desks shows the increasing evidence that both have a tremendous impact on users’ physical and mental health. According to Ergotron’s JustStand® Survey & Index Report, the majority of office workers are forced to sit all day. More than half admit to disliking or even hating it. The survey found 39% of workers browsing the internet or checking social media to relieve boredom while 61% taking up to 5 or 6 active breaks a day to reduce sitting discomfort/pain and restlessness. 

Numerous studies show that prolonged sitting is associated with such psychological states as:

  • stress
  • low focus
  • anxiety
  • and increased risk of depression

Furthermore, poor posture (that often results from an ergonomically improper workstation) may cause shallow breath, which reportedly increases stress, anxiety, and self-focus due to poor oxygenation of the brain. The latter may impair both physical and cognitive states, causing symptoms like dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, and difficulty paying attention and making decisions.

Recent studies provide substantial evidence supporting the positive effects of active workstations on mental health. Both surveys and experimental studies show that standing desks do not impede productivity. Additional participants, report increased alertness, improved focus and mood.



Mental Benefits of a Standing Desk

A study from Texas A&M found a 12% task engagement increase in students who used standing desks over the period of a school year. The researchers measured the engagement in 300 second through fourth-grade students by on-task behaviors such as raising a hand, answering a question, or participating in an active discussion, as well as off-task behaviors like speaking out of turn.

A review of the impact of sit-stand office workstations on worker discomfort and productivity shows that sit-stand workstations can be effective in reducing perceived local, whole body, and actual local and whole body discomfort in office workers, which may or may not result in a productivity rise.

Finally, standing desks tend to improve posture, which may lead to positive effects on mental outlook. Upright position (both sitting and standing) was found to increase confidence, improve speech rate, and reduce stress and self-focus.

Mental Benefits of a Treadmill Desk

While adjustable height desks are great for reducing discomfort and pain, walking desks have been proven to increase productivity by as much as 10% and reduce stress hormone cortisol levels in the blood. 

Treadmill desks have a more significant impact on cognitive function, as they’ve been found to:


  • improve memory and attention
  • promote creativity
  • reduce stress
  • increase productivity
  • boost mood

Active Workstation As Part of Your Company’s Wellness Program

Corporate wellness studies report higher retention at the companies that offer desirable wellness programs. They also find that such programs result in reduced healthcare costs and absenteeism as well as increase a company’s market value.

See sources.

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