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Stand up and take notice of raised furniture

By broadstock, 27/07/2017 - 07:49

The idea that being on your feet can boost productivity has been discussed in schools and offices for a while now. Whether it's holding stand-up meeting, filling classrooms with standing desks or simply providing innovative furniture that allows for more versatile working spaces, we've noticed that the trend is really starting to come to the fore.

Here are a couple of pieces that give an insight into the potential benefits of expanding on the traditional desk and chair layout:

In praise of stand-up meetings

Nothing conveys urgency and efficiency like being on your feet during a daily meeting.

Standford Business School professor Bob Sutton observed this as he was co-writing the management book Hard Facts, along with Jeff Pfeffer. He and Pfeffer would often meet at Pfeffer's home in a room with only one chair. With no place to sit, he and Pfeffer took care of business quickly.

That led the team to look into a study that compares decisions made by 56 work teams who had stand-up meetings vs 55 groups holding seated meetings. In all cases, the meetings were short - roughly 10 to 20 minutes. But in stand-up meetings, groups took 34% less time making decisions, with no real difference in the quality of the decision.

In the real world, good bosses use stand-up meetings to speed things along. CEO David Darragh of Southern food and drink company holds 15-minute stand-up meetings in his office four days a week. 

"Like many areas of discipline, repetition begets improved results", Darragh says. "The role of stand-up meetings is not to work on strategic issues or even to resolve an immediate issue. The role is to bubble up the issues of the day and to identify the ones that need to be worked outside the meeting and agree on a steward to be responsible for it."

If your all-hands meeting runs longer than 15 minutes or so, a stand-up format isn't likely appropriate.

In Darragh's case, the team has a 90-minute sit-down meeting once a week for delving into strategic issues.

Find the original article at https://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/31505/in-praise-of-stand-up-meetings

Want kids to pay attention in class? Give them standing desks

For years, teachers have been searching for ways to get students to be more attentive in class.

Mark Benden, Ph.D., CPE, associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, may have the answer: standing desks.

A study in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education published by Benden and other researchers from Texas A&M found that students provided with standing desks exhibited higher rates of engagement in the classroom that their seated counterparts. Preliminary results show 12% greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra 7 minutes per hour of engaged instruction time. The findings were based on a study of almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year. Engagement was measured by on-task behaviours such as answering a question, raising a hand or participating in active discussion and off-task behaviours like talking out of turn.

Standing desks - also known as stand-biased desks - are raised desks that have stools nearby, enabling students to sit or stand during class at their discretion. Benden, who is an ergonomic engineer by trade, originally became interested in the desks as a means to reduce childhood obesity and relieve stress on spinal structures that may occur with traditional desks. Lessons learned from his research in this area led to creation of Stand2Learn(TM) (https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/standing-desks-from-bright-idea-to-successful-business-venture/), an offshoot company of a faculty-led startup that manufactures a classroom version of the stand-biased desk.

For more about this research, visit https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/want-kids-to-pay-attention-in-class-give-them-standing-desks/

Find the original article at http://today.tamu.edu/2015/04/24/want-kids-to-pay-attention-in-class-give-them-standing-desks/