May 18, 2015
Lately I’ve seen many articles about sit stand workstations and references to Scandinavia where almost all of us employees have access to sit stand workstations. It is true that most of the Scandinavian employees have access to sit stand workstations and in for example in Denmark employers are required by law to provide sit stand workstations to the employees, but this does unfortunately not automatically mean that the Scandinavian employees actually stand by the workstations. Even though most of us actually know that sitting is bad for our health, wellbeing and even our performance, we tend to sit most of the time while working. It is mostly about us being used to sit while working. It is a habitual behaviour and instead we need to get new habits of standing and moving at work. Change management is needed.
Some providers of sit stand workstations provide technical and digital solutions to help us to remember to stand and move while working. When it comes to my company, we use for example an interactive tool for health and wellbeing called Jepp. I have for example right now chosen “Standing 10 minutes per hour” and “Walking up the stairs” us two of my personal challenges in the tool and I get daily reminders from the system about these challenges and I also get points when achieving the challenges and can compete with other persons in my organization.
This helps me to remember to stand while working, but still the days that I do not get a reminder from the tool I tend to forget to stand. We also try to encourage and remind each other in the office to stand and move. Next week we will also start putting up the sit stand workstations in the evening, so that in the morning when we start our workdays, there will be at least a better chance that we start our workday standing.
Campaigns and competitions are other good ways to encourage and remind about standing and moving. Of course, sit stand workstations offer a good basis for standing at work, but the furniture it in self is not a guarantee for standing and in Scandinavia we tend to demand sit stand workstations, but when we actually havethem we are not generally using them that well. So, let us help each other to also getinto the habit of standing and moving while working and not just have access to the furniture!
Kati Barklund is Group Innovation Manager Workplace Services at Coor Service Management Group and Global Ambassador for the Nordic countries, Workplace Evolutionaries