Today more people than ever are working from home. While attending meetings and answering emails in our pajamas is extremely convenient, converting our homes into offices overnight has created quite a challenge for maintaining one’s productivity and health. If we are all striving to be as productive as possible with the time we allocate to work all while maintaining strong health, how do we optimize productivity and health in our home workspace?
Optimize Your Home Office
Standing Desks. Height adjustable desks are a simple way to dramatically increase the productivity of any work space. A 2016 study conducted at Texas A&M University showed that employees using standing desks had significant improvement when comparing markers for productivity against employees doing the exact same job in sitting desks. When this change is applied to home offices the increase in productivity has the potential to be even more dramatic.
Areas of productivity that have been observed to increase with the use of a standing desk:
- Executive cognitive function
- Work engagement
- Overall job performance
- Success rate
Improving every single one of these categories can be accomplished with the simple change of converting your traditional seated desk into a standing workstation.
Working from home can be similar to attempting to workout at home – sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. It is easier to be complacent and comfortable because this is the place you typically relax after a long day at the office. Now that your home is the office, it is important to transform a piece of your home into a legitimate workspace and standing desks force you to physically participate in this transformation by standing where you otherwise would be sitting. No longer are you lounging in your cushioned spinny chair, you are now standing, you are alert, up right, and re-focused.
Standing v. Sitting
Standing desks can fit anywhere traditional desks can, so there is no reason not to replace your old seated desk with a dynamic desk that goes from sitting to standing with a click of a button.
The beauty of height adjustable desks lay in the user’s ability to reap all the benefits of the standing desks, but when muscle fatigue sets in or you’d just rather sit for a few, you can scoot that ergonomic fluffy chair right on up and lower the table top to seated height.
So if standing desks can improve productivity and help transform a home office into a more engaging workspace, in addition to doing everything a regular old seated desk can when desired, why would one limit themself with the latter?
Throw tradition out the window and embrace the perks of innovation. Productivity is what matters when designing a home office, or even a regular office, not tradition.
Optimize Your Health
Sedentary lifestyles are becoming a societal norm. We are sitting on the couch, sitting at our desks, sitting in the car. Sitting. sitting, sitting. This is not a healthy way to live.
Health risks brought on by a sedentary lifestyle:
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain cancers
- Increased feelings of depression and anxiety
This list is daunting, yet very real. Health complications such as these can make life difficult. Standing desks can help in combating this. When you convert sitting at your desk to standing time, it gives your body a rest from all of it’s rest.
In the previously mentioned study conducted at Texas A&M, standing desk users sat on average 1.6 hours less per day than their coworkers with traditional desks. When you extrapolate that over a week, month, and eventually a year, the benefits are staggering.
Health benefits observed from using a standing desk:
- Higher step count
- More burned calories
- Decreased physical discomfort
- More positive outlook
- Decreased time sitting (duh)
We are not meant to be sitting sixteen hours a day and lying down the other eight. The aforementioned list of health complications that can arise from excessive sitting is proof of that. Movement is life. Working at a standing desk compels the user to not only stand, but remain much more active than you would be in a chair.
Time to Stand
The goal is to design your home office to support an increase in productivity as well as a healthier lifestyle. We are all striving to optimize our lives. A standing desk in your home office is one simple way to do exactly that.
Author’s Bio: Xavier Mendiola is a health and wellness specialist with a biomedical sciences background. He is a personal trainer based out of Scottsdale, AZ and is extremely passionate about giving people the tools and knowledge to become the strongest version of themselves in every aspect of life.