Share Trends in Standing Desks & Sit-Stand Workstations for the Healthcare IndustryBy Team Altus | Published Aug 06, 2020 | 10 MIN READ By now, you’re probably well aware of the standing desk trend. Across all industries, standing desks and sit-stand workstations are becoming more and more popular. Employees are asking for them, and employers are answering those requests by providing for these workstations. After all, with many office workers sitting for 8 to 10 hours at work—and more at home—desk users are begging for a change. Traditional desks pave the way for poor posture, terrible circulation, and even heart disease and stroke. But health risks aren’t the only reason for the changing trends in standing desks and sit-stand workstations in the healthcare industry. Healthcare workers are constantly needing workstations that help them adapt to the growing demands placed upon them. Standing and sit-stand workstations allow those in the health care industry to serve patients with more speed, empathy, and—believe it or not—care than traditional desks. Below, we outline trends in standing and sit-stand workstations for the healthcare industry that allow these professionals to better do their job and, most importantly, see better patient outcomes. Companies Care Over the last ten years, healthcare workers (and employees in general) aren’t the only ones getting excited about the standing desk trend. A 2019 study by the Society for Human Resource Management discovered that the rate of employers providing these types of workstations has risen drastically. In 2013, only 13 percent of employers provided or reimbursed their employees for standing desks. In 2017, that number more than tripled to 44 percent. And in April of 2019, the study’s findings showed that 60 percent of employers provided or subsidized for standing desks for their employees. These stats are evidence that companies care. The healthcare sector is ever-changing with more and more physical, mental, and emotional demands placed upon the people who keep the industry going. Standing desks and sit-stand workstations are small, economical, yet impactful ways that employers are listening to the wants—and needs—of their employees and are offering solutions to keep them both happy and healthy. Electric Desks When sit-stand workstations first appeared on the market, they were nearly universally manual. In order to utilize your workspace, you had to stop what you were working on and then essentially crank your desk up or down to the desired height. Even today, many versatile workstations require manual lifting and lowering. This does the opposite of incentivizing healthcare workers to actually use their desks. But now, as more and more companies are innovating sit-stand workstations, we’re seeing a large number of electric models making their way to the market. Many electric models not only eliminate manual lifting and lowering of your standing desk, but they come with pre-programmable options. This can be ideal in a healthcare setting where multiple employees are using the same workstation to input patient records, request prescriptions, etc. In an industry where there are many users on just a few computers, having electric adjustable desks is becoming almost a necessity. This technology equips healthcare workers to do their jobs efficiently while reaping the health benefits of a standing desk with heights that are tailored to individual workers. Mobility One of the new ways healthcare systems are utilizing standing desks is by implementing mobile workstations throughout their facilities. When a patient is in an examination room, a nurse will typically come in, check vitals, and ask questions. This is all recorded on a computer. And instead of healthcare workers having to lug around a cumbersome laptop, most medical centers have their desktops or laptops stationed on a mobile standing desk. This equipment allows nurses, doctors, and social workers, and anyone else seeing a patient to quickly enter into the room with their computer at the ready to begin the examination as soon as possible—all while providing an accurate record of the patient’s visit. Less time spent fumbling with equipment or clipboards means more time that providers can spend with patients. This allows for more efficient patient visits, but it also makes room for more conversation between provider and patient, since the provider’s computer is on, ready, easily accessible. Moving Workstations The fact that desks aren’t simply a place to sit but are now a place to stand (and sit, if you’ve got a sit-stand model) isn’t the only big innovation in the office of today’s healthcare worker. Many in the healthcare industry, especially those not running around in a medical office or hospital floor, are utilizing moving workstations. Imagine a desk where you’re not only not sitting, but you’re actively moving your body while you’re working. That’s the idea behind moving workstations. One example of this type of modified standing desk is Xdesk’s Velo model bicycle desk. It’s exactly as it sounds. This workstation combines the functionality of a standing desk with a stationary bike to allow users to keep blood flowing even when they’re typing away on charts, taking calls, or doing patient research. Other moving standing desks might have a treadmill or elliptical machine built-in. If the argument for standing desks is that they keep you from being sedentary, then the moving desk trend goes one step further to promote activity while also allowing you to get the job done. While these solutions may not be practical for a busy hospital floor or urgent care clinic, healthcare workers who are at their desks all day will benefit from this type of innovative setup. Conclusion Standing desks and sit-stand workstations provide many benefits to healthcare professionals. Firstly, as with other desk users, alternating between sitting and standing, as well as having a desk that is ergonomically designed for typing and desk work, provides overall better work experience for healthcare employees. This means better health and morale for them, which translates into a better experience for their patients. In addition to the physical benefits of these innovative workstations (less back pain, more circulation, higher levels of engagement in their work and work environment,) standing desks, sit-stand workstations, and mobile standing stations allow for greater job efficiency. The goal of every healthcare professional is to provide the absolute best care for patients. Whether that’s in a lab doing research, in an office inputting data, or in an exam room filling out a patient questionnaire, innovative desk and workspace solutions allow these professionals to provide better patient outcomes. When a person’s health is in your hands, every little step adds up to make a huge difference in their quality of life. And in 2020, standing desks play a role in promoting patient wellness from beginning to end of the patient experience.