Weekend Poll Results: Stand Desks in the Workplace

With thanks to all who participate, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll. The focus?

Do you have the option of using a stand desk in your office?

The results

First, the good news: almost a third of respondents use stand desks. While 61% of respondents do not use such desks, I was happily surprised to see that this relatively new option seems to be gaining ground.

Readers Want Stand Desks

People want to use stand desks; 83% of respondents said they would use one if it was made available to them. However, 48% of respondents have not requested one or made such a business case to their employers. Persistence can pay off; one person wrote, “It took two years, but I did get a stand desk this year.”

Just How Much Do Readers Stand and Sit at the Office?

Of respondents who have stand desks, 54% said they have the option of elevating and lowering the desk height. This enables them to alternate between sitting and standing during the day. I know some people who have been provided stand desks that have such a capability and yet, once the novelty wore off, they reverted to former practices and sit much of the time. This is in stark contrast to those who have acquired stand desks specifically due to disabilities or health challenges.

Establishing New Routines

Since acquiring my stand desk, I have built in a routine of intentionally starting each day with an hour of standing. Then, I may lower and elevate the desk another couple of times during the day (particularly after lunch) before again elevating it for the final hour or so of my work day. On closing up shop in the evening, I leave the desk elevated as a nudge to start the next day off right.

This can vary depending on when I have meetings in my office, but I find it helpful to be intentional about changing routines. I aim to stand for a specific number of hours each day, and anything above that is a bonus.

Just How Sedentary Are We During the Work Week?

I asked readers to estimate how many times weekly they exercise for 30 minutes or more. While some readers estimated they do so four, five or six times weekly, more readers responded “once a week” than any other frequency. That was followed by “three times weekly”, but “0” or “not at all” appeared with the third greatest frequency of all responses.

I realise that life is full, and that it can be difficult making time to make one’s self a priority. However, if you’re in good company with those who spend much of their time being sedentary, you may find motivation in researching reports – such as that by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine – on health outcomes for women with primarily sedentary behaviour.

organised desk copyright Shelagh Donnelly

The Data

Do you use a stand desk in your workplace? 

  • No: 61% of respondents
  • Yes: 33% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One wrote, “Mixture of both”

Would you use a stand desk if one was made available to you? 

  • Yes: 83% of respondents
  • No: 17% of respondents

Have you approached your employer about the prospect of using a stand desk? 

  • No: 48% of respondents
  • Yes: 37% of respondents
  • 15% of respondents selected “Other”. Comments included the following.
    • “It took two years, but I did get a stand desk this year.”
    • “I have a Varidesk stand for monitor”
    • “We’ve discussed having sanding desks but can’t afford them so we make our own”

IF you use a stand desk, do you have the option of elevating and lowering its height to both stand and sit during the work day?

  • Yes: 54% of respondents
  • No: 1% of respondents
  • 38% of respondents selected “Other”.  Some respondents commented “N/A”, while others provided the following comments.
    • “I did at another employer.”
    • “Not a desk, though have the varidesk monitor stand instead”

I asked readers to estimate how many hours you sit at your desk each day. Here, in descending order of frequency identified by readers, is a look at the results.

  • six hours
  • seven hours
  • nine hours
  • five – six hours
  • four hours
  • five+ hours
  • five hours
  • six – eight hours
  • six and a half hours
  • six – seven hours
  • three and a half hours
  • eight hours

Next, I asked readers to estimate how many hours you stand at your desk each day. Here, in descending order of frequency identified by readers, is a look at the results. 

  • zero/not applicable; no standing
  • two – three hours
  • one hour
  • one – two hours
  • two – four hours
  • six hours
  • two hours

I asked readers to estimate how many times a week you exercise for 30 minutes or more. Here, in descending order of frequency identified by readers, is a look at the results.

  • once a week
  • three times weekly
  • 0 / not at all
  • twice weekly
  • five times weekly
  • four times weekly
  • six times weekly

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