Stand Up, Sit Down at the Office for Better Health

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Desks that allow employees who work on computers to stand as well as sit throughout the day — sit-stand work stations — can improve job performance and have a positive impact on psychological health, say researchers in the United Kingdom and Australia, whose research was published in BMJ.

A number of studies have linked sitting for long periods to an increased risk for chronic health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and suggest it can have a negative impact on mental health. For this study, called Stand More AT (SMArT) Work, office employees who used sit-stand work stations for 12 months reduced their sitting time by an average of more than an hour per day.

The study involved 146 office workers, 77 of whom were given adjustable sit-stand work stations, and 69 controls. Researchers measured sitting time at the start of the study and again at three, six, and 12 months, and recorded information about activity levels, job performance, and quality of life.

In participants given a sit-stand desk, average sitting time was about 50 minutes less at three months, 64 minutes less at 6 months, and 82 minutes less at 12 months, although total steps and physical activity levels remained unchanged. They also experienced improvements in job performance, work engagement, fatigue levels, and overall quality of life compared to the control group.

Sourced from: BMJ