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If You Want Your Employees to Be More Productive, Get Rid of Their Chairs

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Get 'em out of here. Get 'em out of here. MorgueFile

If you’re looking for a simple way to be more productive at work, just stand up.

Productivity among employees with desks that allow them to stand or sit is 46% higher than that of their perennially seated peers, according to a study of call-center workers conducted by Texas A&M Health Science Center and published on May 24. The study looked at two types of call-center employees—health advisors and clinical advisors—and found that productivity increased among both over a six-month period. An employee’s productivity was measured by how many calls with clients they successfully completed per hour.

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The results piggyback on another study conducted among employees at the same call center over the same period, which found that after six months, 75% of those with access to standing desks reported a decrease in body discomfort. (The seated control group reported no change.) The researchers concede that there isn’t enough information to determine whether the increase in productivity is due to the decrease in discomfort, or vice versa, or if there’s simply a casual correlation.

While standing desks continue to gain favor, the jury is still out on whether using one actually makes you healthier. In that way, sitting is the new coffee, or wine, or aspirin: The science is undecided, but probably because the true answer is “everything in moderation.” Especially when the stakes are cankle-high.

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