Pilot Program Demonstrates
in Comfort & Productivity
The results of a Pilot Program measuring the impact of sit-stand desks within a local city government is summarized in the following report. Data from recently-deployed LifeDesks (Manchester, NH) was automatically calculated and tabulated with technology powered by StanData (Boca Raton, FL) over a period of 60 days. The total number of active participants (N) for the study was 18 users.
Users of the StanData app were provided ergonomically correct heights for sit & stance postures, as well as automated reminders to transition at a frequency of their own choosing. The data shows that the average amount of daily sitting decreased by 20%, and that 66% of the group were now sitting within a desired % range. A significant improvement in physical comfort was observed, with 83% of the participants reporting a decrease in their discomfort. Not surprisingly, the 2 participants who reported an increase in discomfort had opted to ignore the software’s recommended ergonomic height for proper sitting posture, instead choosing conventional desk heights despite their smaller stature.
The reported increase in comfort, energy and engagement levels led to a nearly 75% decrease in the number of breaks needed, which should translate to an increase in overall productivity. A self-report survey of productivity within the app confirmed this finding, as 17 of 18 reported their personal productivity increased as a result of having the sit-stand desk.
A model from Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) was used to assess the potential financial impact of the observed productivity increase. The GWA model is limited to productivity increase as its main determinant of ROI. Potentially one could look at Reduced Ergonomic Claims (54% improvement in comfort), Less Absenteeism (70% reported being More Active and More Energized), and Less Presenteeism (59% of participants reported being More Engaged) as additional factors to consider for a true ROI. This Pilot Program data and the GWA model demonstrates that proper implementation of an effective sit-stand desk solution for sedentary personnel could pay for itself rather quickly.
It has been shown that more frequent postural transitioning provides substantial health benefits, so a logical next step would be to further study motivations that encourage greater app usage, hence more transitions. Health status and medical spend could also be studied with an additional survey question and then correlated with desk usage rates.
- 14 of 18 users reduced their sitting time by standing more frequently.
- The average decrease in sitting time was almost 20%.
- 12 of 18 users now sitting in the desired range of 50 – 75% of the time at the desk (previously 4 of 18 users)
- 15 of 18 (83%) reported a reduction in their discomfort levels.
- 2 of 18 reported an increase in discomfort, 1 of 18 remained the same.2 of these 3 were using desk height settings that didn’t match their stature ( a possible cause of discomfort)
- 1 of 3 reported increased pain in lower extremity which could be mitigated with a mat.
- Overall, the average decrease in workspace discomfort was about 54%.
Number of Breaks Needed Due to Discomfort
- 15 of 18 reported a reduction in the number of breaks needed due to discomfort.
- 3 of every 4 breaks are no longer needed due to improved comfort levels and the ability to stand when desired.
- A reduction of 3.1 breaks per day could roughly translate to 30 minutes of additional work per day. Over the course of a calendar year, an extra 30 min per day could translate to 3+ weeks more productivity.
Perceived Impact on Productivity
- 17 of 18 reported that they felt their personal productivity increased as a result of having the LifeDesk.
- The overall average self-reported productivity increase was almost 12%. This increase over the course of a calendar year would translate to an additional 6.25 weeks of output.
- 0 of 18 reported a decrease in productivity.
Perceived Impact on Work / Life
Key Take Aways
- 9 of 11 benefits attributed to LifeDesk usage were cited by the user group as a benefit they had experienced.
- Over 70% reported having “Increased Energy at Work” and being “More Active in General”
- Just under 60% reported being “More Engaged” at Work
- 0 of 18 reported “No Benefit Was Seen”
Financial Impact of Productivity Increase
Key Take Aways
- Average Employee Salary 50K / Yr with cost of Benefits being 33% of Salary
- Productivity Rates Used From Data Obtained in Survey Study
- Utilization Rate of 50% estimate based on App Utilization Metrics after 60 days (Group 1 – 33%, Group 2 – 77%)
- Cost of LifeDesk 2 leg base and Installation – $600. This number may be less based on many factors.
A significant improvement in physical comfort was observed, with 83% of the participants reporting a decrease in discomfort
The power of frequent postural transition is real and has been documented by many in books and journal articles. Encouraging proper use of sit-stand workstations through reminders and education can have significant effects on wellness — particularly for those individuals who would be considered “at-risk” employees.
This is a factual case, but of course, results may vary for every individual, and these are not intended to represent medical claims.
While this case study is anecdotal, a “positive impact on overall health” is self-reported as an effect by about 60% of surveyed employees using sit-stand workstations powered by StanData’s technology.