"All of us want to bring down health-care costs. All CEOs are out there looking to retain or recruit great employees. Active office, sit stand desks, are all part of that solution that's happening out there," said Jason McCann, CEO of Varidesk, a Texas-based company that manufactures adjustable desks and other fitness-related office products.
The company is barely 3 years old, but McCann said it has sold thousands of its products in more than 100 countries to individuals and corporations. Varidesk sells over 25 fitness and health-related office products and now employs more than 100 people.
"It started as individuals buying it [the adjustable standing desk], they were taking it to work, and now we're seeing Fortune 500 companies; in fact we're at 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies today," McCann said.
Varidesk is not alone. It competes with larger private companies like Humanscale, founded in 1983, which bills itself as the pioneer in "office ergonomics." Bigger players in the office furniture space, like Herman Miller, with its "Thrive Ergonomic Portfolio," offer options to the traditional seated desk. Standing desks are becoming standard furniture.
"Steelcase introduced its first one in 2004, and sales for that particular product has grown five fold since then," said Thompson.
Others are taking office fitness a step further. Literally.
"When we started working full-time jobs, we realized that our activity levels considerably dropped, and we were sitting and we were stuck at our desks and we couldn't find accessible solutions out there that let us get exercise in a discreet and a very easy way," said Shivani Jain, co-founder of Cubiii, a digitally connected under-desk elliptical.
So she and her friend from the University of Chicago, Arnav Dalmia, both now 24, invented Cubi. Users can track their progress on a mobile app.
"People are increasingly aware about their health, their health metrics, and now they have a way that they can really get some exercise," said Jain. It's right there under you. It keeps you honest, the part that is connected to the mobile app, keeps you in check so you know what you're burning and you know what your activity levels are.