Feasibility of using an adjustable sit-stand workstation at work and its Impact on non- exercise activity in sedentary office workers: a pilot randomized crossover trial

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Feasibility of using an adjustable sit-stand workstation at work and its Impact on non- exercise activity in sedentary office workers: a pilot randomized crossover trial

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2012-07

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Background: Over the last century, physical activity has been systematically removed from our daily lives through automation, a trend that continues today, and this has led to Americans spending a majority of the waking hours in a sedentary state (very low energy expenditure state, such as sitting). This phenomenon is thought to have detrimental health effects such as excess weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality. A new field has emerged that has started to focus on reducing inactive time during the waking hours by building in more light activity, known as non-exercise activity, throughout the day. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a non-exercise activity could be increased during workday by installing a sit-stand desk at work. Method: A randomized cross-over study was conducted in a Minneapolis office with 28 sedentary office workers who participated in a four week intervention period (used a sit-stand desk to replace 50% of sitting time at work with standing) and a control period (usual sitting work environment), in random order, with a two week wash-out period (usual sitting, no measurement) in between. The intervention involved the installation of sit-stand work desks at each worker’s desk and ergonomic instruction for its use (Ergotron, Inc., St. Paul, MN). Results: Sedentary, computer-based, office workers replaced about 50% of their sitting time with standing (p-value <.0001). This intervention significantly increased activity during work hours (p-value <.0001). It appears that the intervention resulted in about 35 minutes of sedentary time being replaced with non-sedentary time on a workday. Moreover, this intervention significantly decreased caloric intake (211 kilocalorie/day, p-value = 0.01), despite the fact that instruction was given to maintain the same life-style during both periods of the study. Furthermore, this intervention significantly increased relaxation, calmness, energy, overall sense of well-being and Background: Over the last century, physical activity has been systematically removed from our daily lives through automation, a trend that continues today, and this has led to Americans spending a majority of the waking hours in a sedentary state (very low energy expenditure state, such as sitting). This phenomenon is thought to have detrimental health effects such as excess weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality. A new field has emerged that has started to focus on reducing inactive time during the waking hours by building in more light activity, known as non-exercise activity, throughout the day. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a non-exercise activity could be increased during workday by installing a sit-stand desk at work. Method: A randomized cross-over study was conducted in a Minneapolis office with 28 sedentary office workers who participated in a four week intervention period (used a sit-stand desk to replace 50% of sitting time at work with standing) and a control period (usual sitting work environment), in random order, with a two week wash-out period (usual sitting, no measurement) in between. The intervention involved the installation of sit-stand work desks at each worker’s desk and ergonomic instruction for its use (Ergotron, Inc., St. Paul, MN). Results: Sedentary, computer-based, office workers replaced about 50% of their sitting time with standing (p-value <.0001). This intervention significantly increased activity during work hours (p-value <.0001). It appears that the intervention resulted in about 35 minutes of sedentary time being replaced with non-sedentary time on a workday. Moreover, this intervention significantly decreased caloric intake (211 kilocalorie/day, p-value = 0.01), despite the fact that instruction was given to maintain the same life-style during both periods of the study. Furthermore, this intervention significantly increased relaxation, calmness, energy, overall sense of well-being and decreased fatigue. The intervention turned out to be highly popular with over 96% of the subjects enjoying the use of the sit-stand work station and 89% choosing to have a sit-stand desk permanently installed at their work at the end of the study with the goal of standing a large portion of their workday. Discussion: Overall, a sit-stand desk appears to be a promising tool to reduce sedentary time at work. Given the proportion of waking hours spent at work, sit-stand desks may mitigate the health burden associated with sedentary lifestyles.

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University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. July 2012. Major: Health Services Research, policy and administration. Advisors: Francois Sainfort, Mark A. Pereira, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 33 pages, appendix p. 31-33.

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Dutta, Nirjhar. (2012). Feasibility of using an adjustable sit-stand workstation at work and its Impact on non- exercise activity in sedentary office workers: a pilot randomized crossover trial. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/165459.

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