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Tired of sitting all day? Tech pros take a stand

Ann Bednarz | June 18, 2015
Tech pros find ways to break the sitting habit.

Rui Carreira, webmaster at BuyMenStuff.com, spends most of his day at a desk. To stay active, he alternates between sitting and using a standing desk; takes the stairs instead of the elevator; and uses a step-counter to monitor his activity level.

Some IT pros take initiative and find their own ways to be active. Others get help and encouragement from their employers.

At HubSpot, for example, all employees are provided with adjustable desks that can be used as standing desks or traditional desks. Last year, the inbound sales and marketing software firm added four treadmill desks that any of its employees can use. One of the tech leads on HubSpot's product team started a push-up club, and the participants get together and do push-ups in the middle of the day as a way to break up their work and fit in something active.

Likewise, ad-tech start-up RingPartner, based in Victoria, British Columbia, outfits its employees with sit/stand desks and provides free gym memberships. Once a month the company works with different trainers to have a team building workout.

At KPMG, adjustable desks are catching on.

Every workstation at KPMG's new Denver Ignition Center is adjustable, so employees can sit or stand while working (see photos at top of page). Most people change positions during the course of the day, says Lou Trebino, advisory managing director of technology enablement at KPMG.

"We looked at various studies of workplace environments, especially the way more creative and technical workspaces were designed and functioning, at what appealed to Millennials, and what was being used at some of the companies we acquired (e.g., mobile/digital experience firm Cynergy) in order to make our offices the most flexible and creative," Trebino says.

The desks at Ignition Denver are also on wheels, so they can be moved around. "When teams come together to work on something or collaborate with a client, the desks can be aggregated into a large project room or placed classroom style, giving us tremendous flexibility," Trebino says.

KPMG's newly opened Ignition Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., has the same movable, adjustable height desks and employees at other KPMG offices are requesting them, too. "There has been nothing but positive feedback about the workstations," Trebino says.

 

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