Could Height Adjustable Desks Change How We Work?

Could Height Adjustable Desks Change How We Work?

Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time can have adverse effects on an individual’s health. Some health problems that can be caused by excessively sedentary lifestyles include increased blood sugar, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and obesity, among others (Levine, 2017 ¹). Exercising at the gym or maintaining a good diet will not help counteract the ill effects of too many hours spent sitting (Bennet, 2012 ²). However, it is also important for employees to spend a significant portion of their time at work standing. Furthermore, standing and working can boost employees’ energy levels and productivity.

Companies like General Electric have recognized the importance of giving employees the option to stand and work. They have placed a number of sit-stand desks at their British plant in Groby. In some countries, such as Denmark, the government has made it compulsory for employers to offer height adjustable tables to employees (BBC News, 2014 ³). Encouraging standing at work can help businesses increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and motivate employees. There are some challenges that businesses will face while incorporating such a change. More information on the challenges and a few solutions are given below.


One of the biggest challenges businesses face when it comes to encouraging standing at work is cost. Current office environments are designed for sitting. Workstations, meeting rooms, cafeterias, etc. all have provisions for seating. The furniture used in these areas and their layout is not designed to accommodate people who want to stand and work. Updating interiors and furniture will be an expensive undertaking for businesses. The other challenge that businesses face is that employees may not want to stand. Even though standing and working for a few hours each day can have positive effects on health and energy levels, some employees may simply not want to do it. If businesses force employees to use standing desks then this can result in employees feeling bullied and lead to dissatisfaction and loss of motivation.


A great way for businesses to encourage standing and working is to provide employees with a height adjustable desk. Employees can choose to stand and work if and when they want to. Though these desks are more expensive, in the long term they will be beneficial for businesses as they help increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. Businesses should also think about the layout of the workplace. For instance the bathroom could be situated at a distance from the main work area. This will force employees to stand and walk every time nature calls. Instead of organising a tea or snack trolley, businesses should make food, snacks and beverages available in communal kitchens. This will encourage employees to walk when they want to take a break. Businesses should also set up standing meeting areas with tall tables and no seating options. Employees can use these areas for brainstorming sessions and small team meetings.

Businesses can purchase an electric height adjustable desk, canteen tables, ergonomic chairs and a variety of other products online. AJ Products is one company that supplies furniture to businesses in the UK.


  1. Levine. J. (2017) "What are the risks of sitting too much?" Mayo Clinic [Online] available from: [accessed Jan 2017]
  2. Bennet. D. (2012) "Kill Your Desk Chair—and Start Standing" Bloomberg [Online] available from: [accessed Jan 2017]
  3. BBC News (2014) Could offices change from sitting to standing? [Online] available from: [accessed Jan 2017]
The content of this page has been created by a partner with whom AJ Products is currently working. If you have any questions regarding the information on this page please do not hesitate to contact AJ Products (UK) Ltd.

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