Standing Up at Work


For a few years now the positive benefits of stand-up desks have been in the news and now Malcolm Turnbull the Australian Prime Minister is adopting the idea. If you’re into thinking performance, then we think it’s worth examining whether 2016 should be your year of stand-up performance.

Helping Performance Readiness…

If you look at the stand-up desk, the instant area of performance readiness you can gain from is the Physical component. It’s been claimed if you stand at work, it’s equivalent to running a marathon over the course of the year, which is a pretty decent way of stretching your body. Body position and outlook obviously changes when you stand, so it’s well worth testing out how that change influences your performance.

Adding to the mix…

As well as the obvious physical benefit, it’s also worth considering the other benefits you’re opening yourself up to that build more readiness to perform to your peak.

1. If you sleep for 8 hours a day and then sit at work for a similar amount of time, you’re not moving much for 2/3 of your day-to-day life. That’s not a great ratio, so consider the bigger picture and how a more active ratio could help you in the short, medium and long term. This is more long-term physical readiness and an important part of the picture.

2. With a change in body language and outlook, comes and change in mindset. Many great telephone based ‘performers’ we know always choose to stand up for important calls because it gives them a different energy when talking and getting their point across. Think about the benefits that might be present for those in the room with you, as well as on the phone, if you’re standing up a good chunk of the time and be curious about the difference you might experience.

3. If you’re in an office with a few colleagues, what difference would it make to all of your interactions and engagement if you’re all on your feet at certain times through the day? How would the energy of the office change and what difference would it make to you connecting with each other? The collective impact of being in a ‘standing office’ is well worth exploring and if nothing else, we reckon you’d be far more approachable to each other, literally!

You won’t know without testing it

All of the benefits of standing up at work have been well documented. The evidence seems to make a sensible case for trying it out, purely from a health point of view. The additional performance benefits seem well worth exploring too. But only you can decide whether you’re serious enough about your health and performance to give it a go.

If you’re going to give it a go, we’d recommend a minimum of a two-week trial and using the last step of our training plan structure to assess the impact your standing has had… and of course involve other people to see if they notice any differences in your performance as a stand-up member of the team.

If modern day politicians can’t persuade you to give the idea a go, then you’ll be pleased to know that Winston Churchill had a stand-up desk when he was Prime Minister, so perhaps you’d like to adopt one of his habits and see if you reach his heights of performance!