What Does Tech Think: Would You Stand Up for Sitting Down?

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The Situation:
Research has suggested that standing up all day at work can burn as many calories as a three-mile run — but it can be a challenge. Your supervisor has offered to provide the standing workspace arrangement to anyone who is interested. What would you do?

The Response:
Beth Mynatt, executive director of the Institute for People and Technology, thinks there are pros and cons to this concept.

“Different workstation designs are a great idea, as many of us are too sedentary and suffer from chronic back and neck pain,” she said. “But standing all day can also be physically taxing.”

Mynatt would advocate for standing workstations that include a slow treadmill where employees could occasionally work on a laptop.

Maureen Olson, medical director of Stamps Health Services, likes a similar balance between standing and sitting. She suggests creating a space that allows for alternate periods of standing with sitting.

“On-the-job fatigue, which may occur with prolonged standing, can have a negative impact on productivity, even if the supposed benefit is calorie burning,” Olson said. “The best health practices are the ones that create a balance and always protect your joints and body.”
Justin Rent, senior designer in Communications and Marketing, has used the standing arrangement for three months.

“I find that I have more energy throughout the day,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense, because I used to sit for much of the day. I would feel drained by the end of the day and have no idea why. Now, I feel healthier and more productive.”

BeNedra Williams, senior benefits counselor in the Office of Human Resources, would pass on standing.

“Although the reward of accomplishing the calorie burn would be great with little or no pressing effort, the mind works differently while at work, and you’re inclined to sit to do your daily duties,” she said.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Amelia Pavlik
  • Created:08/22/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016