When participants of a business meeting are standing rather than sitting, they are naturally more excited about their work and less defensive about their ideas, according to a study performed at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. The study analyzed two teams of participants working for 30 minutes to develop and record a university recruitment video. The teams either worked in rooms with chairs around a table, or with no chairs at all. “While working, the participants wore sensors on their wrists that measured their physiological arousal based on the moisture produced by their sweat glands.”
What’s the Big Idea?
In addition to making workers lethargic and defensive, sedentary office environments can contribute to generally poor health. “Evidence has piled up that ‘sitting is the new smoking’–that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increased risk for depression, heart disease, and diabetes.” That takes a double toll on the office, leaving a less spirited atmosphere and costing real productivity when workers are out on sick leave. For businesses looking to try new strategies to increase productivity, ditching your office chairs during meetings is a cost-free experiment that could really pay dividends.