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Sit to Stand Working
Here at Milliken, we’re big proponents of the sit-to-stand office

By making a few simple changes to their office environment, pioneering organizations are bucking the trend of sedentary working, and improving the health & wellness of their employees - both inside and outside of the workplace.​​

The Health Benefits of Sit to Stand Working
​​There’s increasing evidence that sitting for an extended period of time is bad for your health. This is a real problem in traditional office environments, where employees can spend up to eight hours a day sat in front of a computer or telephone:


Sit-to-stand working - the act of regularly switching between seated and standing working - is a simple and effective way to tackle this health crisis.

By investing in new equipment, or even adapting existing office furniture, the sedentary habits seemingly “built-in” to many work environments can be fundamentally changed. Employees can be empowered to choose how they work; with computer work, phone calls and even meetings able to happen in a more active, engaged environment.

Better yet, research shows that the transition towards sit-to-stand working, and standing offices, is having a real impact:

  • 29% of respondents were exercising more after receiving a sit-to-stand desk.
  • 51% reported that they were more movement-inclined than before.
  • 63% spent less overall time sedentary.
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6 Ways to Get Started with Sit-to-Stand Working
​​Thankfully, getting started with sit-to-stand working doesn’t require a radical culture shift, or a huge investment of resources.​
1) Start Simple
​​Seated working is a habit, and like any habit, it can be difficult to break. Instead of making an overnight shift to sit-to-stand working, try encouraging employees to stand during informal meetings, or their next phone call.

Any additional amount of activity is an improvement, and 10 minutes standing for every 50 minutes seated can go a long way towards improving health.​
2) Elect Champions and Change Agent
​​​When you feel ready to roll-out sit-to-stand working throughout your entire organization, make sure to nominate a handful of impassioned sit-to-stand evangelists.

These change agents will be able to help motivate their co-workers, regularly switching from seated to standing working, and setting a precedent that’s easy to follow.​

3) Secure Executive Buy-In
​​Speaking of change-agents: visible buy-in and support from senior executives can work wonders for encouraging adoption of sit-to-stand working.

​It sends a clear message that health and wellness is a core company value, and that sit-to-stand working is more than just a passing trend - it’s a commitment to creating a happier, healthier working environment.
4) Tackle Noise and Privacy Issues Head-On
​​Noise and privacy concerns are two of the biggest barriers to adoption of sit-to-stand working. Thankfully, they’re both easily fixed. Privacy concerns can be remedied by:
 
  • Holding a privacy talk to discuss any concrete concerns employees hold.
  • Providing screens and dividers for employees that work with sensitive information.

Noise issues can be tackled by:
   
  • Maintaining “quiet spaces” for heads-down working.
  • Softening-up hard surfaces with soft furnishings and plants.
  • Choosing sit-to-stand desks with a low decibel rating.
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5) Choose the Right Sit-to-Stand Desk
​​There’s a wealth of sit-to-stand desks available, ranging from simple adapters to fully-motorized workstations. Your choice of furniture will have a lasting impact on the success of sit-to-stand working:

  • Ease of adjustment. How easy is it to switch between seated and standing working? Are hand-cranked desks viable, or should you choose a motorized desk?
  • Cost. Costs are similarly variable, so it’s worth working out how much of an investment you’re willing to put towards sit-to-stand; and how many employees will take it up.
  • Size. The space required of a sit-to-stand desk can vary from role-to-role.
  • Aesthetic. Desks have a surprising impact on the look and feel of the working environment.
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6) Install Cushion-Backed Carpet Tiles
​​Even a few minutes of standing working can take its toll on legs and feet unused to sit-to-stand working. To help overcome these aches and pains, many organizations invest in standing mats - sheets of cushioned padding that help to alleviate strain on tired legs.

But standing mats can be more hindrance than help, preventing chairs from moving effectively, and even causing a trip hazard. Instead, it’s better to use the opportunity to install cushion-backed carpet.
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Using the same high-performance materials found in sports shoes, Milliken’s cushion-backed carpet can reduce muscle fatigue by 25%, and heel impact loads by 30% - while lasting up to 50% longer than conventional carpet tiles.
4 Secrets of World-Class Sit-to-Stand Offices [Free Whitepaper]