Does the use of standing 'hot' desks change sedentary work time in an open plan office?

The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane 4072, Australia.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 10/2011; 54(1):65-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.012
Source: PubMed


This study assessed the use of standing 'hot' desks in an open plan office and their impact on sedentary work time.
Australian employees (n=11; 46.9 [9.8] years; BMI 25.9 [3.5 kg/m(2)]) wore an armband accelerometer for two consecutive working weeks (November-December 2010). In the second week, employees were encouraged to use a pod of four standing 'hot' desks to stand and work as often as possible. Desk use was recorded using time logs. The percentages of daily work time spent in sedentary (<1.6 METs), light (1.6-3.0 METs) and moderate+ (>3 METs) intensity categories were calculated for each week, relative to the total daily time at work. Paired sample t tests were used to compare weekly differences.
Employees spent 8:09 ± 0:31h/day at work and 'hot' desk use ranged from zero to 9:35 h for the week. There were no significant changes in mean time spent in sedentary (difference of -0.1%), light (difference of 0.8%) and moderate+ (-0.7%) intensity categories. However, individual changes in sedentary work time ranged from -5.9 to 6.4%.
Volitional use of standing 'hot' desks varied and while individual changes were apparent, desk use did not alter overall sedentary work time in this sample.

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    • "In recent years, sit-stand workstations have been evaluated with respect to their potential to reduce sedentary time as they provide the most elementary form of 'not sitting' during on-going work. While Alkhajah et al. (2012) report a significant reduction in sedentary time at the workplace following the introduction of a personal sit-stand workstation, Gilson et al. (2012) did not find a significant change in proportion of work time spent in sedentary behaviour after fitting a pod of four height adjustable desks into the centre of an open plan office space. Alkhajah et al. also evaluated acceptability, showing a strong preference of the users (83%) not to return to their old workstation set-up after three months of using the sit-stand workstation. "
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    • "A number of ergonomic interventions have also been investigated as a means of reducing unhealthy sitting behavior or increasing energy expenditure in office workers. These include walking workstations [23,24], portal pedal machines [25], and the use of adjustable sit-stand workstations [11,26]. Of these, adjustable sit-stand desks [11,26] show particular promise. "
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