Inside the offices of Imaginea Energy, you’ll find many employees on their feet.
“I like being able to stand and get my work done,” said Matt Beck, an employee with the Calgary clean-energy firm. “I find it less stressful on my neck and arms, and I can get it dialed in so my wrists don’t get sore when I’m typing.”
The company offers their employees an option of a sit-down or a standup workstation. Beck has one of each.
“We spend so many hours at work, so to be able to provide our employees options that give them just a better physicality to their workspace only makes a sense for us to do,” said Suzanne West, Imaginea’s CEO and president.
Research has shown using standing desks can help employees both physically and with their mental health.
A Stanford University study found workers who used a sit-stand desk were 78 per cent less likely to experience back pain and 2011 Centers for Disease Control research found when workers were supplied with sit-stand workstations, their mood states improved.
“Sometimes when we sit at our desk, we’ve been sitting for so long our core muscles get weak,” said chiropractor Jamila Abdulla. “That affects our back, and then we sit in poor posture and things can tense up quite a bit.”
Abdulla says anyone wanting to switch to a standing desk should do so gradually, starting with standing for just 15 minutes at a time. They should also make sure their desk is set up properly to fit them.
“The key there is to have a monitor at eye level and arm’s distance away. You also want to have your keyboard so your wrists are at a neutral position, but your elbows are at 90 degrees,” she advises.