Stand-Up Desks Increasingly Popular at Saint Leo

When Kristen Nash started using a stand-up desk at her workstation at Saint Leo University, she immediately noticed its benefits. “I felt freer and it felt better standing up,” she said. 

Studies have shown that people using stand-up desks, which are becoming more popular in work places across the country, can burn more calories, stay focused and energetic, and improve blood flow. “I can’t sit anymore (except for brief breaks) and I feel more productive,” stated Nash. “Sitting down seems weird now, and I value and appreciate the time more.”

Nash, 27, an assistant director of Residence Life, has been with Saint Leo for a year and has been using her stand-up desk for six months. She’s experienced back issues off and on for the last four years and was diagnosed with a herniated disk caused by ‘overuse and bad form’ from working out.

Enhancing Personal Health and Wellbeing

Nash is tall – 5 foot, 11 inches – and the stand-up desk adjusts to her height. She stands on a pad, which also helps her back. She thinks the standing desk has made a big difference in her health and well-being. “I personally feel this new equipment has been instrumental in overcoming my back issues; it’s played a huge role in helping heal my injury.”

Ergonomic Benefits Are Evident

Increasingly, research suggests that a sedentary lifestyle appears to be detrimental in the long term and may be as unhealthy as smoking. By incorporating standing, pacing, and other forms of activity in a normal day, and standing at a desk for part of the day, workers can improve their health. There are several health benefits of standing desks that scientists have discovered, including a reduced risk of cancer, cadriovascular disease, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

It can also lower long-term mortality risk.

“The only way to reduce the negative impact of prolonged sitting is to minimize it.  An ergonomic desk makes you feel better, and when you feel better, you work better. A standing desk minimizes some of these health risks and helps to increase productivity at work as well as encouraging interaction with your coworkers,” said Tina Magnan, PHR, compensation and benefits manager at Saint Leo University.

Research Studies Support Theory of Improved Health and Productivity

One research study suggested that standing (and treadmill desks) were potentially useful in reducing workplace sedentariness while also reducing workplace stress and overall mood (1).  Another study showed that a sit-stand workstation model across a one-week period in an experimental environment, reduced musculoskeletal complaints without leading to considerably reduced efficiency in data entry (2)

Campus-wide Usage is Increasing

Stand-up desks are currently being utilized by over a dozen employees at University Campus. Staff members in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the Donald R. Tapia School of Business, the Registrar’s Office, and Residence Life are all using these ergonomically designed desks. After using the standing desks for a period of time, each pointed to feeling healthier and more comfortable at their work station.

“Prior to using the stand-up desk, I was having muscle tension in my rhomboids and using the stand-up desk has eliminated the problem,” said Kim Bulmanski, 41, program analyst in the Tapia School of Business. “I would suggest it for anyone dealing with similar issues while working at their desk.  It has greatly improved my physical well-being and helps me stay productive and focused throughout the day.”

Office Innovation is Here to Stay

From all indications, it would appear this new office innovation is here to stay. Using a stand-up desk provides a whole new way to work, as it increases energy, health, and productivity.

References:

  1. A systematic review of standing and treadmill desks in the workplace, Brittany T. MacEwen, Dany J. MacDonald, and Jamie F. Burr, Preventive Medicine (2015). 
  2. Comparisons of Musculoskeletal Complaints and Data Entry Between a Sitting and Sit-Stand Workstation Paradigm, Britta Huseman, Carolin Yvonne Von Mach, Daniel Borsotto, Kristen Isabel Zepf, and Jutta Scharnbacher, Human Factors (2009). 

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Saint Leo provides access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit.  

The university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from across the country and more than 60 nations around the world. Saint Leo’s 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.

Saint Leo University boasts nearly 80,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and 72 countries.

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