A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Monday, researchers said that standing desks for employers help reduce long, often unhealthy, daily sitting hours. It may also improve work efficiency and increases comfort.
Commenting on the study, a specialist who didn't participate in the research said that it is not known whether prolonged standing hours at work have health benefits. Several previous studies have shown that sitting for long periods is unhealthy and increases the risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease or even cancer.
Administrative employees are among the most sitting groups, as they spend about 75% to 80% of the working time sitting.
A team of researchers led by Charlotte Edwardson of University of Leicester, UK, tried to figure out whether high desks that require employees to stand while working can reduce sitting time, especially if accompanied by a program encouraging them on standing.
According to the German news agency, the researchers provided 77 office staff with "sit-stand" desks, along with information on the long-term health consequences of sitting. They were also regularly motivated to get up from their seats and informed on their seating durations.
A small device placed on the waist recorded the physical activity of the participants over the few first days of the experiment, as well as after three months, six months and 12 months. They also filled out questionnaire forms on their feelings and satisfaction with the workplace, and their job performance. The experiment involved 69 other participants for comparison.
An analysis of the results showed that the standing work program reduced the staff's daily sitting time by more than one hour per day. While the average sitting time was 7.9 hours per day at the beginning of the experiment, it was reduced by 50 minutes three months later. Employees were able to reduce their sitting time by one hour and 22 minutes per day, which was the time they spent standing.
In the questionnaire forms, the researchers also found signs of improvement in the work efficiency and work experience among the participants that they didn’t find in the comparison group. The researchers noted the participants felt less tired than their non-participants peers and were less complaining of lower back pain.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © Saudi Research and Publishing Co. All rights reserved.