As an employee-owned company, we at Hanson like to think of ourselves as stand-up people — those who believe in doing the right thing — especially for our clients, co-workers, families and communities. It’s one of the values that guides our company — inside and out.
In an effort to be the best and healthiest versions of ourselves and to keep our healthcare costs in line (we fund our own health insurance plan), we offer company wellness activities for our employees, including medical screenings, healthy snack days and Biggest Loser weight-loss competitions. Hanson is taking another step toward creating a healthy work environment by offering stand-up desks.
Studies show that workers, on average, sit 7.7 hours a day. The American Medical Association recommends standing desks, exercise balls and treadmills as healthy alternatives to prolonged sitting. Research also shows that sitting three fewer hours per day would add two years to employees’ average life expectancy.
As it stands now (sorry, we had to throw that in), Hanson employees have tested two sample stand-up desks that were set up in our kitchen and break area. The workstations mimicked our typical workstations with computer monitors and keyboards. Surveys about the stand-up desks were also available for employees to complete, providing feedback to our human resources department.
Our HR department will review the feedback and work with a vendor to outline the options available for employees who might be interested in taking a stand for their work and their health.
For now, these options are a good reminder to get up from our desks more often, stretch our legs when we can and walk to a colleague’s office instead of sending them an email. All of these activities can help us move more and sit less.