Advertisement

Sit–Stand Workstations

A Pilot Intervention to Reduce Office Sitting Time

      Background

      Sitting time is a prevalent health risk among office-based workers.

      Purpose

      To examine, using a pilot study, the efficacy of an intervention to reduce office workers' sitting time.

      Design

      Quasi-experimental design with intervention-group participants recruited from a single workplace that was physically separate from the workplaces of comparison-group participants.

      Setting/participants

      Office workers (Intervention, n=18; Comparison, n=14) aged 20–65 years from Brisbane, Australia; data were collected and analyzed in 2011.

      Intervention

      Installation of a commercially available sit–stand workstation.

      Main outcome measures

      Changes from baseline at 1-week and 3-month follow-up in time spent sitting, standing, and stepping at the workplace and during all waking time (activPAL3 activity monitor, 7-day observation). Fasting total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels were assessed at baseline and 3 months (Cholestech LDX Analyzer). Acceptability was assessed with a 5-point response scale (eight items).

      Results

      The intervention group (relative to the comparison group) reduced sitting time at 1-week follow-up by 143 minutes/day at the workplace (95% CI= −184, −102) and 97 minutes/day during all waking time (95% CI= −144, −50). These effects were maintained at 3 months (−137 minutes/day and −78 minutes/day, respectively). Sitting was almost exclusively replaced by standing, with minimal changes to stepping time. Relative to the comparison group, the intervention group increased HDL cholesterol by an average of 0.26 mmol/L (95% CI=0.10, 0.42). Other biomarker differences were not significant. There was strong acceptability and preference for using the workstations, though some design limitations were noted.

      Conclusions

      This trial is the first with objective measurement and a comparison group to demonstrate that the introduction of a sit–stand workstation can substantially reduce office workers' sitting time both at the workplace and overall throughout the week.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Thorp A.A.
        • Owen N.
        • Neuhaus M.
        • Dunstan D.W.
        Sedentary behaviors and subsequent health outcomes in adults: a systematic review of longitudinal studies, 1996–2011.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41: 207-215
        • Tremblay M.S.
        • Colley R.C.
        • Saunders T.J.
        • Healy G.N.
        • Owen N.
        Physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle.
        Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010; 35: 725-740
        • Healy G.N.
        • Matthews C.E.
        • Dunstan D.W.
        • Winkler E.A.
        • Owen N.
        Sedentary time and cardio-metabolic biomarkers in U.S. adults: NHANES 2003–06.
        Eur Heart J. 2011; 32: 590-597
        • Thorp A.
        • Dunstan D.
        • Clark B.
        • et al.
        Stand up Australia: sedentary behaviour in workers.
        Medibank Private Limited, Docklands, Victoria, Australia2009
        • Brown W.J.
        • Miller Y.D.
        • Miller R.
        Sitting time and work patterns as indicators of overweight and obesity in Australian adults.
        Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003; 27: 1340-1346
        • Bureau of Labor Statistics
        American Time Use Survey, 2009. Economic News Release Jun 22, 2010.
        • WHO
        Global strategy on occupational health for all: the way to health at work.
        WHO, Geneva1995
      1. WHO. Workers' health: global plan of action. Sixtieth World Health Assembly: WHO 23 May 2007. Report No.: WHA60.26.

        • National Preventative Health Taskforce
        Australia: the healthiest country by 2020—National Preventative Health Strategy—the roadmap for action.
        Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra2009
        • Carnethon M.
        • Whitsel L.P.
        • Franklin B.A.
        • et al.
        Worksite wellness programs for cardiovascular disease prevention: a policy statement from the American Heart Association.
        Circulation. 2009; 120: 1725-1741
        • van Uffelen J.G.Z.
        • Wong J.
        • Chau J.Y.
        • et al.
        Associations between occupational sitting and health risks: a systematic review.
        Am J Prev Med. 2010; 39: 379-388
        • Bureau of Labor Statistics
        Employment by major occupational group, 2008 and projected 2018.
        • Office for National Statistics
        Labour force survey: employment status by occupation, April-June 2011.
        • Jans M.P.
        • Proper K.I.
        • Hildebrandt V.H.
        Sedentary behavior in Dutch workers: differences between occupations and business sectors.
        Am J Prev Med. 2007; 33: 450-454
        • Healy G.N.
        • Lawler S.P.
        • Thorp A.
        • et al.
        Reducing prolonged sitting in the workplace (An evidence review: full report).
        in: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne, Australia2011
        • Owen N.
        • Sugiyama T.
        • Eakin E.E.
        • Gardiner P.A.
        • Tremblay M.S.
        • Sallis J.F.
        Adults' sedentary behavior determinants and interventions.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41: 189-196
        • Hedge A.
        Effects of an electric height-adjustable worksurface on self-assessed musculoskeletal discomfort and productivity in computer workers.
        in: Cornell University, Design & Environment Analysis, Ithaca NY2004
        • Nerhood H.L.
        • Thompson S.W.
        Adjustable sit-stand workstations in the office.
        in: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 38th Annual Meeting. The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Nashville TN1994: 668-672
        • Winkel J.
        • Oxenburgh M.
        Towards optimizing physical activity in VDT/office work.
        in: Sauter S. Dainoff M. Smith M. Promoting health and productivity in the computerized office. Taylor & Francis/Hemisphere,, Bristol PA1991: 94-117
        • Gilson N.D.
        • Suppini A.
        • Ryde G.C.
        • Brown H.E.
        • Brown W.J.
        Does the use of standing “hot” desks change sedentary work time in an open plan office?.
        Prev Med. 2011; 54: 65-67
        • Grant P.M.
        • Ryan C.G.
        • Tigbe W.W.
        • Granat M.H.
        The validation of a novel activity monitor in the measurement of posture and motion during everyday activities.
        Br J Sports Med. 2006; 40: 992-997
        • Ministry of Health
        Protocol for collecting height, weight and waist measurements in New Zealand Health Monitor (NZHM) surveys.
        in: Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand2008
        • Moon J.R.
        • Tobkin S.E.
        • Roberts M.D.
        • et al.
        Total body water estimations in healthy men and women using bioimpedance spectroscopy: a deuterium oxide comparison.
        Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008; 5: 7
        • Ross R.
        • Berentzen T.
        • Bradshaw A.J.
        • et al.
        Does the relationship between waist circumference, morbidity and mortality depend on measurement protocol for waist circumference?.
        Obes Rev. 2008; 9: 312-325
        • Lohman T.G.
        • Martorell R.
        • Roche A.F.
        Anthropometric standardization reference manual.
        Human Kinetics Books, Champaign IL1988
        • Carey M.
        • Markham C.
        • Gaffney P.
        • Boran C.
        • Maher V.
        Validation of a point of care lipid analyser using a hospital based reference laboratory.
        Irish J Med Sci. 2006; 175: 30-35
        • Shephard M.D.
        • Mazzachi B.C.
        • Shephard A.K.
        Comparative performance of two point-of-care analysers for lipid testing.
        Clin Lab. 2007; 53: 561-566
        • Lawler S.P.
        The expression of stressful experiences through a self-regulation writing task: moderating effects for depression [Master's thesis].
        The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand1999
        • May D.R.
        • Reed K.
        • Schwoerer C.E.
        • Potter P.
        Ergonomic office design and aging: a quasi-experimental field study of employee reactions to an ergonomics intervention program.
        J Occup Health Psychol. 2004; 9: 123-135
        • Sundstrom E.
        • Town J.P.
        • Rice R.W.
        • Osborn D.P.
        • Brill M.
        Office noise, satisfaction, and performance.
        Environ Behav. 1994; 26: 195-222
        • Dickinson C.E.
        • Campion K.
        • Foster A.F.
        • Newman S.J.
        • O'Rourke A.M.
        • Thomas P.G.
        Questionnaire development: an examination of the Nordic Musculoskeletal questionnaire.
        Appl Ergon. 1992; 23: 197-201
        • Dobson A.J.
        • van der Pols J.C.
        • Barnett A.G.
        Regression to the mean: what it is and how to deal with it.
        Int J Epidem. 2005; 34: 215-220
        • Vickers A.J.
        • Altman D.G.
        Analysing controlled trials with baseline and follow up measurements.
        BMJ. 2001; 323: 1123-1124
        • Hamilton M.T.
        • Hamilton D.G.
        • Zderic T.W.
        Role of low energy expenditure and sitting in obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
        Diabetes. 2007; 56: 2655-2667
        • Bey L.
        • Hamilton M.T.
        Suppression of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase activity during physical inactivity: a molecular reason to maintain daily low-intensity activity.
        J Physiol. 2003; 551: 673-682
        • Hamilton M.T.
        • Hamilton D.G.
        • Zderic T.W.
        Exercise physiology versus inactivity physiology: an essential concept for understanding lipoprotein lipase regulation.
        Exercise and Sport Sci Rev. 2004; 32: 161-166
        • Verweij L.M.
        • Coffeng J.
        • van Mechelen W.
        • Proper K.I.
        Meta-analyses of workplace physical activity and dietary behaviour interventions on weight outcomes.
        Obes Rev. 2011; 12: 406-429
        • Speck R.M.
        • Schmitz K.H.
        Energy expenditure comparison: a pilot study of standing instead of sitting at work for obesity prevention.
        Prev Med. 2011; 52: 283-284