If “work smarter, not harder” is your mantra, you’ll want to lean in for this piece of advice: ditch your plain ol' office furniture and switch to a standing desk. In recent years, doctors and journalists have primarily focused on the health benefits of stand up desks, but did you know these adjustable workstations yield the power to boost your mental faculties too? Discover the cognitive benefits of standing, and begin performing at your peak with a standing desk.
How Stand Up Desks Improve Cognition
According to a study from Brain, a journal published by Oxford University Press, standing up activates cerebral circulation in the visual association cortex, midbrain, and anterior and posterior vermis—giving the brain the blood, nutrients, and oxygen it craves. In addition to greater blood circulation, standing results in healthier, more regulated blood sugar levels, a factor that impacts memory function. When sitting, blood glucose increases and can damage the hippocampus, leading to a decline in cognitive functioning over time.
The physical activity resulting from standing desk usage also contributes to improved long-term cognitive performance. Research shows that “as people get older, it is natural for some regions of the brain to begin to shrink,” with “the hippocampus shrink[ing] one to two percent annually in people without dementia.” However, adults who expend even a modest amount of physical activity were shown to increase “the size of the hippocampus […] by two percent.”
Greater Productivity and Alertness
The benefits of stand up desks in the workplace are tremendous. Productivity levels rise as standing wards off metabolic drop—often referred to as the “mid-morning/afternoon slump.” In an interview for The Wall Street Journal, Facebook recruiter Greg Hoy reported that with a standing workstation, “I don’t get the 3 o’clock slump anymore […] I feel active all day long.” With increased blood flow, headaches are also less frequent, and therefore, less likely to disrupt your workday. To test claims that standing desks boost productivity, Business Insider conducted its own investigation. Using the app DeskTime, staffers tracked and compared time spent productively when sitting and standing. Their conclusion—standing yielded up to 10 percent more productivity.
Collective Intelligence via Collaborative Workspaces
What’s smarter than one mind? Several minds working together to tackle a project. Collective intelligence allows companies to make better decisions, giving employees the ability to break free of their silos and share valuable knowledge. Collaborative work environments have become increasingly popular in recent years, praised by innovative companies, such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and Pixar, for creating cultures that spark ingenuity. According to Business Insider, FF Venture Capital reportedly “found that standing leads to more actively sharing ideas”—the reason “why the firm outfitted its meeting rooms with standing desks.” Stand Up Desk Store promotes collaboration with mobile, adjustable desks that are outfitted with four 3” locking casters, two with locking brakes—allowing groups to easily push desks together for brainstorming and meeting purposes.