Standing at your desk at work is like ‘training for a marathon’ – but you’ll be more productive and have more energy if you do
- Workers at sit-stand desks are more energised and productive study finds
- Research suggests prolonged sitting is linked to chronic diseases
- Experts say workers should aim for at least two hours of standing per day
- The study was conducted at the University of Sydney, Australia
Workers who use sit-stand desks are more energised and are just as productive as those using traditional desks according to a world-first study by researchers at the University of Sydney.
Lead researcher Dr Josephine Chau from the University of Sydney said workers should build up their standing time gradually and avoid going from no standing to standing all day at work.
‘It’s a bit like training for a marathon – you don’t go from running zero kilometers to 42 kilometers overnight. You need to help your body adjust to it gradually. Ideally, workers could aim for around two hours of standing or non-sitting time per working day,’ she said.
As experts warn of the adverse health outcomes associated with living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, offices have become a target for strategies to reduce sitting time.
Published in Preventive Medicine Reports, the pilot study measured the effects on the productivity of 30 Optus call-centre workers using sit-stand desks over five months.
Half the participants used traditional desks while the others trailed sit-stand desks.
‘Our study found that workers who increased their standing by up to 60-90 minutes a day were more active and felt more energised than workers who used traditional desks, while not compromising their work output,’ said lead researcher Dr Josephine Chau, from the University of Sydney.
‘They reported being more satisfied and feeling more productive at work.’
The findings of the study are good news for office workers who want to make the case for sit-stand desks in their workplaces.
‘The proportion of workers who reported they had enough energy throughout their workday increased seven-fold, from six percent to 44 percent when using sit-stand desks,’ Dr Chau said.
A growing body of research suggests that prolonged periods of sitting is linked to a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
These health risks are particularly relevant for people with largely sedentary jobs, such as office workers the study found.
‘We must be aware of the dangers of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and do all we can to combat this. A sit-stand desk is one of many things you can do to improve your health,’ said Dr Chau.
- Daily Mail