The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health recently published a study concerning workers’ behavior at sit-stand desks. Researchers focused on the effect of the digital evaluation method, but they glossed over one key finding. It had to do with the social impact of resulting behavior.
Let’s go over the entire study first.
The researchers evaluated the use of smart software in prompting a group of computer workers at the Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs to switch between sitting and standing at their adjustable desks. In the first phase, they measured the workers’ time and position at their workstations, as well as desk height. After creating the baseline three months later, they moved on the second phase.
The second phase made use of the digital reminder system. For two months, the software prompted workers to stand for 10 minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting, measuring significant statistical data on standing desks.
Results demonstrated that the computer program impacted those with living a sedentary lifestyle the most. While few workers varied desk positions throughout the day in the first phase, every person followed the software prompt without fail in the second phase.
But a survey after the second phase revealed that the digital program wasn’t their only influence. In fact, over 50% of participants reported increased motivation when they observed coworkers’ behavior as well. Thus, social context bears significance in proper use of a standing desk.
A person can buy all the right ergonomic furniture and set reminders. But without the encouragement from fellow peers, he might not have the motivation to maximize his use of a sit-stand workstation.