Sit-to-stand office desks rise as among top employee benefits in the US

The health benefits of having the ability to move between sitting and standing throughout the workday are prompting employers to provide height-adjustable desks to workers.

September 07, 2017

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The health benefits of having the ability to move between sitting and standing throughout the workday are prompting employers to provide height-adjustable desks to workers.

Standing desks have emerged as the fastest growing employee benefit in US workplaces, a recent report from the Society for Human Resource Management revealed. In the survey, 44 percent of the more than 3,200 respondents made up of randomly selected HR professionals said that their companies are providing or subsidizing the use of sit-to-stand office desks. The number is a three-fold increase from 2013 figures and up 11 percentage points from last year.

This comes as a string of medical research found out that sitting for extended periods, regardless of the amount of physical activity, leads to numerous health-related problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

It also believed that the ability to move between sitting and standing throughout the day has promising health implications such as the reduction of lower back pain, and an increase in mood and productivity.

Currently, there is no official tally of the share of office workers using standing desks but Ergotron, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of adjustable furniture, puts the figure at about 2 percent. The number is expected to rise in the next few years as employers have been increasingly placing premium on wellness as a tool to recruit and retain workers.

Online there is a range of options for height-adjustable sit-to-stand workstations. A quick search, for instance, yields that full-size standing desks moving up and down via a handcrank list at $200 to $400. Electric versions are priced a few hundred dollars higher while single-touch motorized models can go for $1,000 to $3,000.

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