6 Steps to Starting a Sit-Stand Desk Movement in Your Workplace
You’re ready to enjoy the benefits and freedom of working at a sit-stand desk, but you don’t want to do it alone and you don’t know how to make it happen. Here’s your guide to the steps to get started.
If you’re anything like 42% of Australia’s workforce, you’re probably sitting for an average of 6.3hours/day at work, and are worried by the troubling evidence that this leads to a number of health problems. But what can you do? Your job binds you to a desk, and you don’t have the authority or the personal expense account to get that sit-stand desk you’ve been longing for. Even if you did have the desk you don’t want to be the weirdo standing there alone looking out over your colleagues. Don’t fear! This 6 step guide will help you to pioneer a sit-stand desk revolution in your workplace that could get you out of your chair and normalise the behaviour so others can also enjoy the health benefits.
1. Gather supportIt can be hard to make a difference on your own, so recruit like-minded coworkers to your cause. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding supporters given the media attention that prolonged sitting has received over the past few years. Chat with your coworkers and find people who share your concern for health. Start conversations about what you’ve read about the benefits of sit-stand desks and rally people to your side. Tell them what you’re hoping to achieve and ask them to back you.
2. Choose the right sit-stand deskThere are many sit-stand options available now, from risers that sit on your existing desk to full corner workstations that can hold and elevate everything you need on your desktop. Having a free-standing desk gives you a lot more flexibility without the loss of workspace and they can bear more weight than a riser. You will also find that an electric height adjustment makes it easier to transition between sitting and standing so you are more likely to move. The Scandinavian designed ConSet is the perfect example of an electric adjustable, free-standing desk, and is the market leader for sit-stand desks in Australia. Do your research and work out what is best for your workplace.
3. Prepare your caseIf you’re going to convince your boss to come up with the money to fund your sit-stand desks, you’ll need a convincing argument. Build your case by stressing two main points: the risk and the reward, and focus on what’s in it for them. There is plenty of evidence that using a sit-stand desk not only makes you healthier, but also improves productivity, making it beneficial to your business’s performance and profitability. To help you, we’ve crafted this letter template you can use. Show them that you have done your homework and that this is not just a random request, and that having a sit-stand desk will provide value to them as well as to you.
4. Ask your bossYou don’t know until you actually ask, but this can be the hardest part. Approach your boss with respect and confidence. Remember, it is their responsibility to provide a suitable, healthy work environment, and you are coming to them with a solution, not a problem. You can simply present them with your letter of request or organise a meeting to formally present your case. You never know, they may want to join your sit-stand desk movement, too!
5. Start smallAs stated in the request letter template, it may be better to start with just a few sit-stand desks and work towards more. This will give your company a chance to see that it really does make a difference, and it will also be less threatening for the more resistant among your colleagues. You can set up an activity based working or hot-desking area with a cluster of sit-stand desks and make them available to anyone wanting to test them out for a trial period before assigning them to those who supported the request.
6. Demonstrate the benefitNow that the desks have arrived you need to set the example. This doesn’t mean endless hours of standing at your desk, but it will require a commitment from you to stand for part of every day. Like any new habit it’s going to take time to get into the rhythm. A good plan of attack is to work out what you can and can’t do while standing and organise your day to allow for brackets of standing that coincide with tasks that you can manage while out of your chair. Many people find it better to sit when they need to concentrate and stand when making phone calls, writing emails, or reading. You may also benefit from standing directly after lunch to overcome the fatigue that can set in after eating.
Once you’ve started your sit-stand desk movement you won’t look back! Don’t wait any longer – start the process now and enjoy the freedom of being able to move between sitting and standing throughout your work day as well as the improvement to your health and productivity, knowing that you’ve also helped others.