Reducing Occupational Sitting Time

Posted on October 17 2014

It has become more apparent in recent years that prolonged periods of inactivity, such as is found in many occupations, can lead to adverse health effects. Many in these positions suffer from both mental and physical health conditions. According to a 2011 study, even minimal increases in daily activity can reduce the negative effects of sedentary occupations.


In 2011, the Take-a-Stand Project was performed to study the effect of standing desk appliances on health and life satisfaction. Over the course of several weeks, it was found that the existence of these appliances encouraged their use, and that their use had a positive effect on health.


The Take-a-Stand Project entailed installing desks that encouraged workers to spend time sitting and standing as they performed their job duties. Control groups were compared to the surveyed workers, as were the effects before, during, and after implementation.


The results of this study were clearly in favor of the inclusion of sit-and-stand desk appliances. On average, those who had access to standing desks increased daily activity by 224% over the control group. According to surveys regarding physical and mental health, this same group experienced less pain and reported increased overall happiness. As an interesting follow-up, once the standing desks were removed, all positive feedback reverted to the original responses.


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