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Standing up gets groups more fired up for team work
Date:6/12/2014

June 12, 2014 Chairs provide great support during long meetings, but they may also be holding us back. Standing during meetings boosts the excitement around creative group processes and reduces people's tendency to defend their turf, according to a new study that used wearable sensors.

"Organizations should design office spaces that facilitate non-sedentary work," says Andrew Knight of the Olin Business School at Washington University. Removing chairs could be a low-cost way to redesign an office space while also tackling the health effects of sitting in one place for too long, he says, citing mounting evidence that a sedentary lifestyle is poor for people's health. "Our study shows that even a small tweak to a physical space can alter how people work with one another."

Knight became interested in exploring the group dynamics of standing meetings when his university was constructing a new building. He remembers brainstorming with colleague Markus Bauer about possible furniture configurations. "We were particularly interested in the role of a sedentary workspace because standing desks were a new option that was available to faculty members for outfitting their offices," he explains. "We wondered how this type of arrangement would play out for people working together in a group to achieve a collective goal."

So Knight and Bauer designed a study, published today in Social Psychological and Personalty Science, that asked participants to work together in teams for 30 minutes to develop and record a university recruitment video. The teams worked in rooms that either had chairs arranged around a table or with no chairs at all. After making the videos, research assistants rated how the team worked together and the quality of the videos, while the participants rated how territorial their team members were in the group process.

The participants wore small sensors around their wrists to measure "physiological arousal" the way people
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Contact: Lisa M.P. Munoz
spps.media@gmail.com
571-354-0754
SAGE Publications
Source:Eurekalert

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