Stand Up to Work Study

The Stand Up to Work study, funded by the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation’s Transform grant in 2015, was a collaborative project of the Center for Active Design, Perkins+Will, Steelcase, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Stand Up to Work evaluated behavior changes in office workers who received adjustable workstations (or sit-stand desks) that allowed them to shift between standing and sitting, compared to workers with standard desks. This project represents an important contribution to the growing research base on the health and wellness impacts of Active Design elements in workplace settings.


  • Developed a research methodology that uses real-time polling and questionnaires to track office workers’ health and wellness. Data collection captures measures of sedentary behavior, perceived stress, and ongoing behavior changes.
  • Installed adjustable workstations in an office environment
  • Collected data before the installation of the adjustable workstations, and at approximately 3, 6 and 12 months following installation
  • Findings showed that sit-stand desks are linked to increased productivity, better mental concentration, and improved overall health in employees who used sit-stand desks over a 12-month period
  • Study was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, the International Journal of Workplace Health Management in Spring 2018
  • Stand Up to Work was featured in mainstream media outlets such as Fast Company!



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