Which One Increases Productivity? Standing Or Sitting?

Most of our work, especially those who work in an office find themselves spending most of their working hours behind a desk. For people that are based on the field, standing is the most common posture that you will find them. So, sitting and standing during work, which way will an employee be more productive?

Before I get into details of how either working positions affect your productivity, do you know the health benefits and effects of working either standing or sitting down? Movement of our bodies is a major health benefit as it helps the muscles to stretch and increase circulation of blood in the muscles. For an employee who is standing in most of their working hours, you will find yourself having several movements that will help to keep your body tuned.

As I am writing this article, I am seated behind a computer and the next break I will take is at the end of this article, or probably after another. My movements are limited but in the long run, I also have to get work done. I have to take movement breaks for my health sake. For an employee whose most hours of the day are spent behind a desk, here are some of the ways in which they can work healthily.

  • Stand up every 20 minutes
  • Try changing desks so that you can enhance your movement.
  • Set a 20-minute timer so that you can stand

However, if you want to save time that you spend working so as to move around, you can opt for a standing desk. A standing desk allows you periodic stand-ups and sits downs while working. The movement is good enough for your body as its health benefits.

Working standing up is definitely healthy due to the maximized moved. If your work is behind the desk for most of your time using a standing desk is your solution. It is also important to note that you require movement not just standing in a certain position. Remember, the health benefits are in the movement not standing. It is just that standing increases your chances of movement as compared to sitting down.


The following are a number of facts that research has shown about working while standing with regard to productivity;

  • As you work standing, there seems to be an urgency in the work you are doing. This, in turn, increases your focus so that you can concentrate and finish up the task ahead of you.
  • Standing enables you to keep the high energies constant.
    You feel less stressed when working while standing.
  • For people who are addicted to smoking, working while standing can be a substitute to ease their nervous feeling.


Research has also shown that sitting while working could also be a way of increasing productivity in some areas of work, however, you are required to take regular breaks between the hours that you spend working. The following are some facts about working while sitting:

  • Less energy is used when working, thus you save your energy for more work.
  • Sitting helps to stabilize the body in areas such as driving, working behind a computer and drawing detailed diagrams.
  • Sitting provides comfort which helps to produce quality work.

Disadvantages Of Working While Standing

As much as you would want to increase your productivity at work, there are certain issues that can cause limiting factors to your productivity in the future. Here are some of the reasons why standing while working can be of adverse effects;

  • Working while standing has proven to be tiring.
  • It causes complications especially due to the overacting of the circulatory system.
  • Can cause one to have varicose veins.
  • It is not recommended for those working to produce fine motors.
  • More energy is used when working standing.
  • There is a strain on the circulatory system, the legs, and feet.

At the end of the day, the employees are tired and fatigued. Think of the effect of their fatigue on productivity.

Disadvantages Of Working While Sitting Down

Working while sitting also has its adversaries. They include;

  • Causes deposits of fat other than being metabolized by the muscles.
  • Research shows that long periods of sitting down causes risks of heart problems.
  • Sitting down results to obesity.
  • The breaks that an employee takes between working hours to move around is time wasted and has a negative impact on productivity.
  • The comfort that an employee gets while seated can cause the derailment of the work and lose focus.
  • Working while sitting down might not have immediate effects on an employee, but with time it causes health effects that lead to less productivity.

Standing Up Or Sitting Down?

The introduction of the standing desks in most of the workstations is proof that working standing increases productivity. Research has shown in most companies that have introduced the standing desks, the levels of productivity have gone up to close to 30% increase in 4 months.

Also, employees that have desks that allow them to stand regularly have shown improvement in the performance of work. There are fewer complaints of backaches and thus increased productivity.

Any employer who is concerned with the health of her employees will give standing desks a chance. The health of an employee is very important so as to increase their rate of work and in the end, the employer gets a rise in the productivity rate.

Final Words

From the above, it is clear that working while standing will increase productivity. The journey towards increasing the productivity of the employees has been long and finally, the standing desks are a hope towards better results at the workplace. The research of productivity has revolutionized from weird chair designs for employees, giant inflatable balls and now the standing desks.

However, note that there is some work that needs only be done while sitting for increased productivity and accuracy of the work. Remember, quality is better than quantity so if you are involved in fine motors, driving and drawing, opt for sitting down. Bottom line is, standing is without a doubt healthier than working when seated, but with some occupations, sitting is the only option. Simply assess your job and decide whether you need to be seated more often than standing. If so, little breaks in between the constant sitting will be good for your health.

Read: Best Computer Desk To Improve Your Productivity