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Background:Many office employees are spending up to 90% of their workday seated, and employers are considering stand-capable desks as a way to increase physical activity throughout the day. When deciding on adoption of stand-capable workstations, a major concern for employers is that the benefits, over time, may not offset the initial cost of implementation. Methods: This study compared objective measures of productivity over time between a group of stand-capable desk users and a seated control group in a call center. Comparison analysis was completed for continuous six-month secondary data for 167 employees, across two job categories. Results: Users of stand-capable desks were ∼45% more productive on a daily basis compared to their seated counterparts. Further, productivity of the stand-capable desk users significantly increased over time, from ∼23% in the first month to ∼53% over the next six months. Finally, this productivity increase was similar for employees across both job categories. Conclusions: These findings suggest important benefits of employing stand-capable desks in the work force to increase productivity. Prospective studies that include employee health status, perceptions of (dis)comfort and preference over time, along with productivity metrics, are needed to test the effectiveness of stand-capable desks on employee health and performance.
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IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human
ISSN: 2157-7323 (Print) 2157-7331 (Online) Journal homepage:
Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a
Standing Desk Intervention
Gregory Garrett, Mark Benden, Ranjana Mehta, Adam Pickens, Camille Peres
& Hongwei Zhao
To cite this article: Gregory Garrett, Mark Benden, Ranjana Mehta, Adam Pickens, Camille
Peres & Hongwei Zhao (2016): Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing
Desk Intervention, IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, DOI:
To link to this article:
Accepted author version posted online: 24
May 2016.
Published online: 24 May 2016.
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Garrett et al.
Call center productivity
Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing Desk Intervention
Gregory Garretta,*, Mark Bendena, Ranjana Mehtaa, Adam Pickensa, Camille Peresa, and
Hongwei Zhaob
aDepartment of Environmental & Occupational Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M University, 109 SPH Administration Building, College Station, TX 77843-1266,
b Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M
University, College Station, TX, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Color versions of one or more of the figures in the article can be found online at
Occupational Abstract Stand-capable desks have been shown to successfully reduce sedentary
behavior in the modern office, but whether their utilization improves cognitive productivity is
not known. We compared productivity between stand-capable desk users and traditional seated
desk users in a call center environment. Data were collected daily over a continuous six-month
period. We found that increased stand-capable desk use is a likely contributor to increased
productivity over traditional seated desk use. These findings indicate that use of stand-capable
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desks as ergonomic interventions to improve physical health among employees may also
positively impact their work productivity.
Technical Abstract
Background: Many office employees are spending up to 90% of their workday seated, and
employers are considering stand-capable desks as a way to increase physical activity
throughout the day. When deciding on adoption of stand-capable workstations, a major
concern for employers is that the benefits, over time, may not offset the initial cost of
implementation. Methods: This study compared objective measures of productivity over time
between a group of stand-capable desk users and a seated control group in a call center.
Comparison analysis was completed for continuous six-month secondary data for 167
employees, across two job categories. Results: Users of stand-capable desks were ~45%
more productive on a daily basis compared to their seated counterparts. Further, productivity
of the stand-capable desk users significantly increased over time, from ~23% in the first
month to ~53% over the next six months. Finally, this productivity increase was similar for
employees across both job categories. Conclusions: These findings suggest important
benefits of employing stand-capable desks in the work force to increase productivity.
Prospective studies that include employee health status, perceptions of (dis)comfort and
preference over time, along with productivity metrics, are needed to test the effectiveness of
stand-capable desks on employee health and performance.
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It is estimated that most American adults spend 89 hours of their daily waking time
sedentary, with most of this sedentary time due primarily from their office environment (Straker
et al., 2013). Sedentary behavior has been linked to mortality and several negative health
outcomes including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (Katmarzyk, et al., 2009;
Tremblay et al., 2010). Research has indicated that this may be true even for those who are
meeting recommended physical activity guidelines (Hamilton et al., 2008; Katmarzyk et al.,
2009). In particular, call center operators have been observed spending ~ 90-95% of their work
shift in their seats and work long hours without breaks (Rocha, et al., 2005; Kress, 2014).
Working adults in call centers spend nearly 90% of their work time sedentary as opposed to one-
third or one-half for other office employees (Straker et al., 2013). Consequences of prolonged
sitting include lower back pain and body discomfort (Rocha, et al., 2005; Marshall, et al., 2010).
These outcomes can impact productivity; increased discomfort at daily work tasks has shown to
result in perceived productivity losses of 10% to 20% (Hagberg, et al., 2002; Wahlstrӧm, et al.,
Excess sedentary time has been linked to obesity, which in turn has been implicated in
higher risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer (Katzmarzyk et al., 2009, Tremblay
et al., 2010, Dunstan et al., 2012). Sit-to-stand desks, as an office ergonomics solution to this
problem, have the potential to improve caloric expenditure and reduce sedentariness in the
workplace (Alkhajah et al., 2012, Pronk et al., 2012, Grunseit et al., 2013; Commissaris et al.,
2015). However, the sustainability of sit-to-stand desk usage in maintaining physical activity and
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reduction in sedentary time within occupational settings has been a challenge (Wilks et al., 2006;
Toomingas et al., 2012; Straker et al., 2013). Nonetheless, the perceived benefits of stand-
capable office environments, which include declines in musculoskeletal complaints, augment the
health benefits reported in previous studies (Alkhajah et al., 2012, Pronk et al., 2012, Grunseit et
al., 2013).
Among adults, the use of standing desks on modern office tasks in an experimental study
has been shown to reduce discomfort over time (~15 weeks), which has been argued to positively
affect task performance (Robertson et al., 2013). Thus, it is likely that stand-capable office
environments facilitate work efficiency and productivity in adults, similar to that observed in
adolescents. However, in a simulated office environment/work study, Husemann et al. (2009)
reported that stand-capable offices do not significantly impact productivity. Because that study
examined the impact of acute standing (~1 week) on efficiency of simulated work, it remains
unknown whether continued exposure to standing affects work productivity in-situ occupational
environments. It is important to examine this relationship in a naturalistic work environment,
however, as the sustainability of office ergonomics solutions relies on whether these
interventions present productivity and task interruption challenges.
The present study investigated the impact of stand-capable workstations (sit-to-stand and
stand-biased) in a call-center on employee productivity over a six-month period. Productivity
data, based on the number of successful encounters per hour, was collected by the company’s
proprietary software. It was hypothesized that employees assigned to stand-capable desks would
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demonstrate higher productivity than those in the traditional seated desks, and that these
differences will be sustained over the six-month period.
2. Methods
2.1. Subjects
As part of normal business operations, data on employee’s performance were collected
daily and as a condition of employment, the company reserves the right to use that information
for research purposes. Therefore, de-identified secondary data were provided to Texas A&M
researchers for analysis without the need of informed consent from the employees. Study
participants included 167 employees in a call center (118 females and 49 males) who provided
telephonic health and clinical advising. The study participants workstations consisted of
traditional seated workstations, sit-to-stand workstations, and stand-biased workstations. A prior
study on this population indicated small differences in standing behavior between participants
using stand-biased and sit-to-stand workstations (Kress, 2014). Therefore, for the purposes of
this study, the stand-biased and sit-to-stand workstations were combined into one category and
are referred to as stand-capable workstations going forward. In addition, the prior study (Kress,
2014) administered online surveys that collected information as self-reported seated time,
biometrics, body discomfort, and musculoskeletal symptoms (Kress, 2014).
The intervention group consisted of 44 health advisors (Stand-HA: 23 females, 21 males)
and 30 clinical advisors (Stand-CA: 28 females, 2 males), all of whom had stand-capable desks.
The control group consisted of 58 health advisors (Sit-HA: 33 females, 25 males) and 35 clinical
advisors (Sit-CA: 34 females, 1 male), all of whom had traditional seated desks. Because the
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call-center installed new desks for a new employee cohort, the Stand-CA and Stand-HA groups
were new employees, having been with the company for 3 months or less, whereas the Sit-CA
and Sit-HA employees had been employed for one year or more. To minimize confounds of
employee experience, only those employees who had been employed for a minimum of 30 days
and were working at the stand-capable or traditional seated workstations, were included in the
study. Since this study occurred in an in-situ occupational environment, rather than in a
controlled laboratory environment, attrition did occur. The retention rates were as follows:
Stand-HA 93%, Sit-HA 93%, Stand-CA 83%, and Sit-CA 89%. In all attrition cases, employees
left the company or transitioned to a different job within the 6-month period and thus had to be
excluded from the study.
2.2. Equipment
Both the sit-to-stand and stand-biased workstations used a SteelCaseTM (Grand Rapids,
Michigan) Series 5 Desk that had an electric motor allowing it to adjust from 64.77cm to
129.54cm tall. This allowed the user to press an up or down button to adjust the desk surface to
proper height for sitting (68.58-78.74 centimeters) and proper height for standing (93.95-116.84
centimeters) (ANSI/HFES 100, 2012). The sit-to-stand workstations had a standard height task
chair, The SteelCaseTM Think Chair Model 6205, which has a seat height that can be adjusted
between 40.64 centimeters and 53.34 centimeters (Figure 1).
The stand-biased workstations had a raised height or bar height task chair. The Neutral Posture
Inc. (Bryan, Texas) U4IA4692 Mesh Back Stool was used, with attached foot platform at 15.24
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and 25.4 centimeters and a seat height that can be adjusted between 64.77 and 91.44 centimeters
(Figure 2).
Footrests that allow a user to prop one foot up at 20.32 or 30.48 centimeters were purchased for
stand-biased desk users. Anti-fatigue mats were purchased for sit-to-stand users. Monitor arms
for a dual monitor set-up were purchased and installed at each workstation. The seated
comparison group was seated in groups of six at a traditional desk with monitor arms for a dual
monitor set-up (Figure 3).
2.3. Data Collection
The stand-capable desks were installed in the call center late January 2013 as part of a
major addition of newly hired health and clinical advisors, and the new employees were
relocated to the new facility the beginning of February 2013. Since the new employees were
assigned to the stand-capable workstations by the company, the sample is one of convenience
rather than random assignment. Following approval by the Texas A&M Institutional Review
Board, data collected by the host company’s proprietary software was de-identified and provided
for analysis. Quantitative productivity data was collected daily over a continuous six-month
period (March 2013 through August 2013). Productivity data, based on the number of successful
encounters per hour by advisor, were collected by the company’s proprietary software. As
defined by the company, successful encounters were considered to be the completion of a call
with a member in which the advisor reviews previous goals and sets a new goal. During a call,
the advisor speaks with the member, takes notes, asks questions, and performs tasks within the
computer system which includes updating the member’s profile and goals. Specifically for health
4 4
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advisors, the company generates revenue on the number of reported successful calls. The
company links calls and outcomes to the calls digitally and records related parameters such as
time on the call. Revenue for the company is directly tied to successful calls and those calls
average a value of $100 each, which is comparable to national trends. A successful encounter per
hour rate was calculated for each participant and means were obtained across each month for the
six-month period.
The control groups had been employed with the company longer than the comparison
groups and had the potential for higher accrued time off (vacation/sick leave). To address this,
total time on dialer (TOD), which is a measure of an advisors availability to make or take calls,
was calculated over the 6-month period and analyzed for group and job type differences.
2.4. Statistical Analysis
The dependent variable, mean successful encounters per hour, was visibly checked for
parametric assumptions and a follow up Shapiro-Wilk test determined that the data were
normally distributed. Two clinical advisors (one each from Sit and Stand groups) were excluded
from the study because their productivity data for four months were not available. A three-way,
mixed-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to examine the effects of
intervention group (control vs. stand-capable desks), job category (health vs. clinical advisor),
and time period (6 months) on mean successful encounters per hour. An independent t-test was
conducted to determine group and job type differences for TOD. Statistical significance was
determined when p < 0.05. Significant interaction effects were examined using pairwise
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comparisons with Bonferroni corrections as required. All statistical analyses were conducted
using SPSS 22 (IBM SPSS Statistics). Summary data are presented as means (SD).
Based on the online survey data collected in the prior study (Kress, 2014), self-reported
seated time showed that those on the stand-capable side of the call center were seated for a mean
of 72-73% of their day compared to those on the seated control side that spent 91% of their day
seated (Kress, 2014). Additionally, at 6 months, nearly 75% of those with stand-capable
workstations experienced decreased body discomfort compared to the seated controls who
experienced no statistically significant decrease in body discomfort (Kress, 2014). There was not
a statistically significant difference in TOD between stand-capable and seated groups ( t(101.18) =
.271, p = .787).
A significant group x time interaction (F(5, 111) = 5.97, p < 0.0001, partial η2 = 0.051; Fig.
4) was found. Pairwise comparisons between groups for each month revealed that the effect of
the intervention was significant from the 2nd to the 6th time period (all p < 0.005). Main effects of
group (F(1, 111) = 60.13, p < 0.0001, partial η2 = 0.351), job category (F(1, 111) = 65.52, p < 0.0001,
partial η2 = 0.375), and time (F(5, 555) = 21.1, p < 0.0001, partial η2 = 0.16) were found on
successful encounters. Productivity among employees with stand-capable desks was ~46%
higher than that among those with traditional seated desks (1.26 (0.38) successful encounters/hr).
Additionally, health advisors demonstrated ~48% increase in successful encounters/hour when
compared to clinical advisors (1.24 (0.37) successful encounters/hr; Fig. 5). In general,
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productivity during the first three months was greater than during the last three months of the
six-month period.
We compared the effects of stand-capable offices (sit-to-stand and stand-biased
workstations) in a call-center on employee productivity over a six-month period. Productivity
across two job categories, health advisors and clinical advisors, were obtained using the
company’s performance metric software. The main findings were that employees assigned to the
stand-capable desks demonstrated higher productivity than those in the traditional seated desks,
particularly from the 2nd to the 6th month, and that this trend was consistent across both the health
and clinical advisors.
On average, stand-capable health advisors had 0.5 more successful calls per hour during
the 6-month period than their seated counterparts. As the company generated revenue based on
the completion of successful calls, significant additional revenue was realized. Similarly, stand-
capable clinical advisors had 0.4 more successful calls per hour per clinical advisor during the 6-
month period, compared to the traditional seated clinical advisors group. Clinical advisors do not
generate revenue on a fee per successful call rate as health advisors; rather the reduction in health
care utilization over the year determines the amount of fees paid to the company. As the stand-
capable clinical advisors had a higher successful daily call rate than the traditional seated clinical
advisors, the opportunity exists to decrease health care utilization costs at a significantly higher
rate. While health advisors had significantly higher successful calls per hour than the clinical
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advisors (owing to the nature of their job), the positive impact of the intervention was similar
across both job categories.
There are several studies that suggest an inverse relationship between productivity and
body discomfort (Davis & Kotowski, 2014; Robertson, et al., 2013; Karakolis & Callaghan,
2014). Aligned with findings from these studies, Kress et al. (2014), who used the same study
participant pool and study design as the current study, found that employees assigned to the
stand-capable workstations reported significantly lower body discomfort compared to the seated
controls over the six-month period. Previous research on standing desks utilization and
associated comfort requires a habituation period of few weeks (Kress et al. 2014). It is likely that
this habituation was associated with similar productivity levels between the two groups in the
first month, with benefits beginning to show from the second month onwards. However, it can be
counter argued that decreased body discomfort alone may not be indicative of increased
productivity observed in this study. It is possible that the same productivity could have been
achieved if body discomfort had been reduced even for those in the seated workstations through
effective ergonomic improvements in the seated workstations. Moreover, it is possible that the
change in discomfort observed in Kress et al. (2014) may be attributed to time on job, or other
factors that are related to the duration of employment, rather than the experience with the stand-
biased workstations. The authors believe that the 90 days of pre baseline for the newer workers
in the treatment group (60 days of training and 30 days of break-in doing their new jobs in the
stand capable workstations) was more than adequate to minimize experience variation between
groups. The fact that at 9 months total or 6 months into the measurement period the newer
workers were still having less discomfort and more productivity points to the value of the
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workstation differences in the measured outcomes. As with any field research, more work is
warranted to determine the relationship between discomfort and improved performance in real
work scenarios with longer longitudinal investigations.
Previous studies have indicated that physical activity has substantial preventable and
restorative properties for cognition and brain function (Kramer & Erickson, 2007). Specific to
standing desk applications, cognitive benefits of standing desks have been previously established
in school-based intervention studies. For example, reducing sedentariness in school children has
been linked to improved student attention and focus (Koepp et al, 2012; Dornhecker et al., 2015),
and a more recent study showed that it improves basic cognitive functioning via enhancements in
the frontal regions of the brain (Mehta et al., 2016). While the current study focused on
secondary data analyses on productivity outcomes, cognitive metrics to examine standing
behavior benefits were not available. As such, future research should focus on obtaining
potential cognitive effects of increased physical activity through the use of stand-capable
workstations in both controlled laboratory and naturalistic field studies.
It is important to note both the strengths and limitations of this study. The study was
conducted in a company whose business is in the health promotion domain; it is possible that the
employees with stand-capable desks have a higher usage than other companies that are not
focused on health (e.g., information technology). In addition, owing to constraints out of scope
of the study, employees were not randomly assigned to the conditions and as such this may have
introduced selection bias. However, because employees were assigned to their workstations, this
is a strength of the study as it reduces or eliminates volunteerism bias therefore increasing the
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generalizability of the study results to other populations. One other limitation should be noted.
Since the stand-capable advisors were dealing with new clients, it is possible that the client’s
population may have been highly motivated to engage with the advisors. It is possible that some
of the variance between the stand-capable and traditional seated advisors could be attributed to
differences in the populations they were attempting to engage. Moreover, employees assigned to
the stand-capable desks had been with the company significantly less than the traditional seated
advisors. However, to address this potential confound, study participation was limited to
employees who had been working independently for a minimum of 30 days (following a 60 day
training period) thus allowing new employees to habituate to sit-stand workstations as well as
increase their familiarity with company procedures and work practices. To further address
differences between groups, this study would have been strengthened considerably if pre-existing
performance data on the control (seasoned coaches) were available. Having this information may
have better addressed associated experience differences between the groups. Ongoing future
studies that include prior performance data on the control groups will be able to address this
particular limitation. Interestingly, even though advisors assigned to stand-capable desks had
been with the company significantly less than the traditional seated advisors, they still were able
to outperform the more experienced and seasoned advisors (who had been assigned to the seated
Finally, productivity was measured using the company’s proprietary software and thus
productivity metric algorithms were not made available to the researchers. Even though the
metric used to evaluate cognitive performance is specific to this company and potentially not
generalizable to non-call center environments, previous studies have used task complexity and
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critical decision making as representations of cognitive demands and have reported increases in
cognitive performance while using sit-stand desks (Robertson et al., 2013). A strength of this
approach was that all the workers were monitored continuously and objectively thru digital
software recording of the desired outcomes as opposed to more common subjective and sampling
approaches used in other studies in this field. Our findings indicate that productivity improved
with the stand-capable desks, and as such the company was provided with a very relevant,
objective metric through which they can base strategic decisions on, whilst encouraging the
physical health of their employees.
In summary, we found that individuals that have the opportunity to stand throughout the
day can operate at higher productivity levels than those that do not have the capability to stand
while working. Questions remain as to the underlying mechanism(s) that impacted the
productivity results of these groups. It is possible that reduction in body discomfort, enhanced
cognitive function due to physiological changes, or a combination of these factors played a role
in the increased productivity for those in the stand-capable condition. Further work is warranted
to examine the effects of stand-capable desks, preferably through randomized controlled trials, to
establish their non-physical benefits, both at the basic (cognition) and at macro-organizational
(productivity, employee morale, etc.) levels.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest
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Figure 1. Sit-Stand workstation
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Figure 2. Stand-Biased workstation
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Figure 3. Traditional seated workstation
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Figure 4: Effects of intervention group and time period on mean successful
encounters/hour. * Represents significant differences between groups at each time
period. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
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Figure 5: Main effects of job category and time period on mean successful
encounters/hour. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
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... Therefore, it is safe to assume that the typical home conditions are unable to support the worker for extended periods of time, and in the long run, it can be expected that work productivity will suffer. Research has been investigating the relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity as well as other variables for decades, 13 some research specifically focusing on ergonomic problems in desk jobs, 14,15 however, ergonomic problems, musculoskeletal pain, and working efficiency of employees who switched to the home working model during the pandemic have been investigated only by a very limited number of studies. 16-194 participants were ultimately included in the study. ...
... AE 3.18(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16) hours during the pandemic while working from home. The average time for computer usage significantly increased during the pandemic (P < 0.001). ...
Objective: To determine ergonomic problems when working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to musculoskeletal pain, sleep conditions, physical activity, resting, equipment, and productivity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, office workers who switched to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic participated in an online survey (n = 194). The data were interpreted using descriptive and multivariate regression analysis. Results: A significant increase in back pain was revealed (p < 0.001). Significant weight gain was observed (p < 0.001) connected to a decrease in physical activity and an increase in the consumption of junk food. Despite the negative health impact, participants self-reported an increase in productivity. Conclusion: The self-reported productivity was higher during the working from home, but a declining trend in employee health can be observed including low back pain and weight gain.
... Working memory was assessed using Wechsler working memory test. Other studies have used this test for measuring working memory (Garrett et al. 2016). In this test, a set of digits (from three to nine digits) are presented in the monitor and the participant should repeat the digits in forward and backward directions. ...
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Introduction: This study was designed to assess the effect of an ergonomic training intervention on the cognitive function of office workers. Materials and methods: This was a before-after study performed in 2020 in Yazd, Iran on female office workers. Cognitive function (working memory, attention and response time) was assessed by Wechsler working memory and Stroop test before and after the intervention. Ergonomic intervention consisted of ergonomic modification of the workstation and a training program about ergonomic principles of office work. Data were analyzed by SPSS (ver. 24) using paired T-test and multiple regression linear model. Results: Mean age and work experience of the participants was 35.38±1.60 yr., and 8.54± 1.24 yr., respectively. Forward visual memory, response time and interference time were significantly changed after the intervention, but the change in other aspects of cognitive function (i.e. memory span, backward visual memory, and interference score) was not statistically significant. Marital status, age and working hours significantly affected working memory, test duration and response time, and number of errors, respectively. Conclusion: This study showed that ergonomic intervention (modification of workstation and training) may significantly affect some aspects of cognitive function in office workers.
... 9 From an employer standpoint, sit-stand desks may increase employee productivity. 10 This, combined with the potential health benefits of reducing sedentary behaviors, should more than offset the initial expenses of purchasing the desk. Furthermore, an expert statement recommended that predominantly deskbased workers should progress towards accumulating at least 2 hours/day of standing and/or light walking during work hours and highly recommended sit-stand adjustable stations to accomplish this goal. ...
... (47) Our study underscores benefit to vascular health outside of exercise activities by simply replacing sitting with standing, and this will help to inform future prospective studies on a broader scale. Furthermore, acceptability of sit-stand desks at home (48) and increased employee productivity (49), combined with the potential health benefits, should more than offset the initial expense of purchasing the desk for employees, whether working from home or in the office. Changes in vascular flow-mediated dilation of the brachial and superficial femoral arteries over 24 weeks. ...
Sedentary behavior is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality, independent of physical activity. The biological mechanisms underlying these associations are largely unknown. We hypothesized that obese subjects with sedentary desk jobs, when assigned a sit–stand desk, will reduce daily sedentary time, and show improvement in arterial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), an early indicator of CVD. Overweight and obese subjects without known CVD were recruited at our institution and given an adjustable sit–stand desk at work. Activities were quantified with an accelerometer for 7 days at baseline and during the intervention. FMD of the brachial and superficial femoral arteries, fasting lipids, insulin and glucose labs, and anthropometrics were measured at baseline, and 12 and 24 weeks. Repeated one-way ANOVA tests were used to compare measurements over time. Fifteen participants were enrolled (93% female, mean age 40 ± 5 years, mean body mass index [BMI] 33 ± 5). Mean daily sedentary time at work decreased by 90 minutes from baseline (385 ± 49 minutes) to 12 weeks (297 ± 80 minutes, p = 0.002) and 24 weeks (295 ± 127 minutes, p = 0.015). Femoral FMD increased from baseline (4.9 ± 1.7%) to 12 weeks (6.4 ± 2.3%, p = 0.043) and further to 24 weeks (8.1 ± 3.2%, p = 0.009). Significant improvement in fasting triglycerides and insulin resistance occurred. There was no change in brachial FMD, exercise activity, step counts, weight, or BMI. A significant reduction in sedentary time during working hours was identified with utilization of a sit–stand desk and sustained over 24 weeks. Improvements in FMD, triglycerides, and insulin resistance provide insight into mechanisms of adverse health risks associated with sedentary behavior.
... In addition to this obvious necessity, which also results from the consistent implementation of the directives on VDU-work of several countries in desk sharing, electrically height-adjustable desks also offer the possibility of working alternately in a sitting and standing position, which can increase productivity and lead to less discomfort in the musculoskeletal apparatus of the back and upper extremity (cf. Garrett et al. 2016;Hedge 2004). However, the mere offer of this possibility does not automatically lead to its use (cf. ...
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The right amount of exercise is healthy for both the healthy and the sick. This has meanwhile been proven beyond any doubt (cf. Pagenstert 2017). The times when people suffering from cancer, heart or lung disease were advised to rest as much as possible should be over, even if this has not yet become a matter of course for every single doctor.
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The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is important in managing business especially in a developing country like the Philippines. Call centers are one of the most common type of industries within the BPO sector as they generate 75.1% of its revenues. Given the lack of studies regarding the ergonomic factors in the BPO industry, the goal of this research is to examine the relationships of different ergonomic domains on the job satisfaction and overall productivity of the BPO agents in a customer service or call center industry. The data were gathered through an online survey and the approach used for this study was a variance-based partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) with maximum likelihood estimation. Through analysis, it was proven that macro-ergonomics and physical ergonomics have significant effects on the overall productivity of BPO workers, while cognitive and macro-ergonomics have a significant influence on job satisfaction. In addition to this, it was also proven in the study that overall productivity and job satisfaction were significantly associated. This is one of the first studies to investigate and examine the relationship between ergonomic domains and the productivity and job satisfaction of a Filipino BPO or call center worker. The results of this study could be used as a reference for further investigations by future researchers, especially on more ergonomic factors as well as the extrinsic variables that were not covered by the researchers of this paper. In addition to this, the proposed framework might also be adapted and used as a reference for further studies to produce more accurate and updated results.
Background: Adjustable height sit-stand desks are becoming the norm in many workplaces. It is not known how task type, worker preference, and occupation impact utilization of the adjustable height feature. Objective: This survey-based study aimed to determine how task type, preference and occupation affect office workers' sitting and standing behaviors at work. Methods: Office workers (n = 123) from different occupations completed surveys about actual and preferred positions (sit, stand, either/both) during 39 common tasks from 4 different categories, as well as barriers to use. Each position was analyzed by task type, behavior, and occupation. Results: There were differences between actual and preferred behavior for each position, with participants sitting more and standing less than preferred across all task categories. There were differences between task categories with participants sitting less for generative and routine, and standing more for communication tasks. The highest rates of either/both responses were for routine tasks. Engineers reported the lowest standing rates, and also indicated standing more than preferred. Information Tech and Engineering had the highest either/both responses. Finance reported the highest sitting rates. Personal, task-based and workplace limitations were cited as barriers to preferred use. Conclusion: Office workers would prefer to stand more at work. Occupation-specific needs and preferences, as well as types of tasks should be considered when providing workplace standing options.
Although nurses are constantly on their feet caring for patients, they still work on the computer at seated or standing workstations. This study examines workers' self-reported pain and discomfort while using these two workstation designs and their risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Unsere Arbeitswelt befindet sich seit einigen Jahren in einem rudimentären und strukturellen Wandel. Durch die zunehmende Digitalisierung entwickeln wir uns mehr und mehr von einer Industrie- zu einer Wissensgesellschaft und verändern damit auch unseren Arbeitsbegriff. So bewegen wir uns heute weg von unseren traditionellen und starren Arbeitsstrukturen hin zu den neuen Arbeitsweisen im digitalen und globalen Zeitalter. Diese Entwicklung und die daraus resultierende neue Arbeitswelt kann unter dem Begriff ‚New Office‘ zusammengefasst werden, der Begriff ‚New Work‘ wurde ursprünglich von Frithjof Bergmann verwendet. Wenn wir wollen, dass sich auch künftige Generationen mit geplanten neuen Arbeitsumgebungen angesprochen fühlen und die Erwartungen an ein gesundes Büro erfüllt werden, dann müssen bei der Veränderung der Arbeitswelt spezifische menschliche Bedürfnisse berücksichtigt werden. Das private Umfeld ist ein mögliches Modell für eine flexible Raumstruktur, in der die Bereiche jeweils auf unterschiedliche, ganz menschliche Bedürfnisse ausgerichtet sind und damit eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Arbeits- und Tätigkeitsbereiche repräsentieren. Im Büro begegnet man in der Regel einer sehr monotonen Raumgestaltung. Um auch im Büro eine bedarfsorientierte und selbstbestimmte Arbeitsweise zu fördern, sollten vielseitige Raumstrukturen in die Bürowelt integriert werden. Mit einer größeren Standortwahl ist es nicht mehr notwendig, an einem Ort zu bleiben, sondern die Arbeitsposition kann immer wieder gewechselt werden. Dies sorgt für mehr Bewegung und unterstützt sowohl ergonomische Arbeitsmethoden als auch eine bessere Arbeitsleistung und Kreativität. Für mehr Produktivität am Arbeitsplatz ist ein Umfeld, in dem man sich als Individuum wohl fühlt, besonders wichtig. Die Mitbestimmung bei der Bürogestaltung wirkt sich nachweislich positiv auf unsere Produktivität, unsere Identifikation mit unserem Arbeitsplatz und damit auf unsere Gesundheit aus. Schon kleine Eingriffe, wie Dekorationen oder Begrünungen, sorgen für eine erhöhte Mitarbeiterzufriedenheit und ein größeres kreatives Potenzial.Mit der Veränderung unserer Arbeitsumgebung sind viele Vorteile verbunden. Insbesondere die neu gewonnene Flexibilität und Selbstbestimmung sorgen für verbesserte Arbeitsbedingungen. Neue Formen des Wissens bergen aber auch Gefahren durch die zunehmende Verschmelzung von Privat- und Berufsleben. Ständige Erreichbarkeit und Transparenz im Büroalltag beeinflussen zunehmend unser Privatleben und erschweren es heutzutage, von der Arbeit abzuschalten und sich zu entspannen. Dies führt zu gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen und wirkt sich kontraproduktiv auf unser Wohlbefinden sowie auf die Arbeitsleistung und Produktivität aus. Bei der Planung neuer Arbeitsumgebungen, die unsere Gesundheit fördern, muss ein sensibler Ansatz gewählt werden, und vor allem sollte die Selbstbestimmung der Mitarbeiter im Vordergrund stehen. Wie schon bei Frithjof Bergmann geht es in Zukunft um nicht weniger als die Übertragung von Veränderungen der Lebens- und Sozialkultur auf den Bereich der Gestaltung menschlicher Büros.
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Standing desks have proven to be effective and viable solutions to combat sedentary behavior among children during the school day in studies around the world. However, little is known regarding the potential of such interventions on cognitive outcomes in children over time. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the neurocognitive benefits, i.e., improvements in executive functioning and working memory, of stand-biased desks and explore any associated changes in frontal brain function. 34 freshman high school students were recruited for neurocognitive testing at two time points during the school year: (1) in the fall semester and (2) in the spring semester (after 27.57 (1.63) weeks of continued exposure). Executive function and working memory was evaluated using a computerized neurocognitive test battery, and brain activation patterns of the prefrontal cortex were obtained using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Continued utilization of the stand-biased desks was associated with significant improvements in executive function and working memory capabilities. Changes in corresponding brain activation patterns were also observed. These findings provide the first preliminary evidence on the neurocognitive benefits of standing desks, which to date have focused largely on energy expenditure. Findings obtained here can drive future research with larger samples and multiple schools, with comparison groups that may in turn implicate the importance of stand-biased desks, as simple environmental changes in classrooms, on enhancing children’s cognitive functioning that drive their cognitive development and impact educational outcomes.
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Methods: We searched Scopus for articles published from 1992 until 12 March 2015. Relevant studies were evaluated using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies and summarized in a best-evidence synthesis. Primary outcomes were SB and PA, both at work and overall (ie, during the whole day); work performance and health-related parameters were secondary outcomes. Results: The review included 40 studies describing 41 interventions organized into three categories: alternative workstations (20), interventions promoting stair use (11), and personalized behavioral interventions (10). Alternative workstations were found to decrease overall SB (strong evidence; even for treadmills separately); interventions promoting stair use were found to increase PA at work while personalized behavioral interventions increased overall PA (both with moderate evidence). There was moderate evidence to show alternative workstations influenced neither hemodynamics nor cardiorespiratory fitness and personalized behavioral interventions did not influence anthropometric measures. Evidence was either insufficient or conflicting for intervention effects on work performance and lipid and metabolic profiles. Conclusions: Current evidence suggests that some of the reviewed workplace interventions that are compatible with productive work indeed have positive effects on SB or PA at work. In addition, some of the interventions were found to influence overall SB or PA positively. Putative long-term effects remain to be established.
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Background: Schools have been suggested as a viable avenue to combat childhood obesity. School administrators are sometimes faced with the conflicting demands of improving the health of their students and maintaining academic performance. Dynamic furniture such as stand-biased desks may be one way to address both academic and health demands placed on schools to prevent childhood obesity. Method: Classrooms with stand-biased desks were compared to classrooms using traditional seated desks in 2(nd),3(rd), and 4(th) grades. The academic engagement of 282 participants was observed in the fall and spring during one academic year. The engagement of the treatment classrooms was compared to the engagement of the control classrooms. Results: Both groups showed general increases in their academic engagement over time. Stand-biased desks do not seem to result in adverse effects on academic engagement when used in elementary classrooms. Conclusion: The data suggests promising results for the use of stand-biased desks in elementary school classrooms. The results suggest that stand-biased desks can be introduced in the classroom to combat childhood obesity through increasing energy expenditure without affecting academic engagement.
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This article investigates whether different interventions aimed at promoting postural change could increase body movement throughout the shift and reduce musculoskeletal discomfort. Many researchers have reported high levels of discomfort for workers that have relatively low-level demands but whose jobs are sedentary in nature. To date, few interventions have been found to be effective in reducing worker discomfort. Thirty-seven call center operators were evaluated in four different workstation conditions: conventional workstation, sit-stand workstation, conventional workstation with reminder software, and sit-stand workstation with break reminder software-prompt to remind workers to take break The primary outcome variables consisted of productivity, measured by custom software; posture changes, measured by continuous video recording; and discomfort, measured by simple survey. Each condition was evaluated over a 2-week period. Significant reductions in short-term discomfort were reported in the shoulders, upper back, and lower back when utilizing reminder software, independent of workstation type. Although not significant, many productivity indices were found to increase by about 10%. Posture-altering workstation interventions, specifically sit-stand tables or reminder software with traditional tables, were effective in introducing posture variability. Further, postural variability appears to be linked to decreased short-term discomfort at the end of the day without a negative impact on productivity. An intervention that can simply induce the worker to move throughout the day, such as a sit-stand table or simple software reminder about making a large posture change, can be effective in reducing discomfort in the worker, while not adversely impacting productivity.
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Background. In this pilot study, the authors aimed to examine the implementation of standing desks on classroom performance and behavior. They also examined how the standing desks affected in-class physical activity and body mass index. Methods. Eight sixth graders from Hope Lutheran elementary school participated in the study (age 11.3 ± 0.5 years). Baseline and 8-month postintervention measures were step counts using (W4L Classic pedometers), height, weight, and behavioral markers. Results. Data showed that there were no statistically significant changes in the participants’ body mass index (19.4 kg/m2 vs 19.3 kg/m2), step counts (1886 steps vs 2248 steps), and behavioral markers including classroom management, concentration, and discomfort. Height and weight changes were significant and are attributed to the normal growth rate associated with the age of the participants (146.8 cm vs 151.8 cm, P < .0001; 41.4 kg vs 44.5 kg, P > .0007). Conclusions. It is feasible to integrate standing desks into a classroom without negative effects. Although the authors observed over a 19% increase in pedometer activity, it was not statistically significant. This highlights the importance for larger experimental groups and the use of more advanced physical activity tracking and body composition technologies.
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Background Epidemiological research has established sitting as a new risk factor for the development of non-communicable chronic disease. Sit-stand desks have been proposed as one strategy to reduce occupational sedentary time. This formative research study evaluated the acceptability and usability of manually and electrically operated sit-stand desks in a medium-sized government organisation located in Sydney, Australia. Methods Sitting time pre- and three months post -installation of the sit-stand desks was measured using validated self-report measures. Additionally, three group interviews and one key-informant interview were conducted with staff regarding perceptions about ease of, and barriers to, use and satisfaction with the sit-stand desks. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed for themes regarding usability and acceptability. Results Of 31 staff, 18 completed baseline questionnaires, and 13 completed follow-up questionnaires. The median proportion of sitting time for work was 85% (range 50%-95%) at baseline and 60% (range 10%-95%) at follow-up. Formal statistical testing of paired data (n=11) showed that the change from baseline to follow-up in time spent sitting (mean change=1.7 hours, p=.014) was statistically significant. From the qualitative data, reasons given for initiating use of the desks in the standing position were the potential health benefits, or a willingness to experiment or through external prompting. Factors influencing continued use included: concern for, and experience of, short and long term health impacts; perceived productivity whilst sitting and standing; practical accommodation of transitions between sitting and standing; electric or manual operation height adjustment. Several trajectories in patterns of initiation and continued use were identified that centered on the source and timing of commitment to using the desk in the standing position. Conclusions Sit-stand desks had high usability and acceptability and reduced sitting time at work. Use could be promoted by emphasizing the health benefits, providing guidance on appropriate set-up and normalizing standing for work-related tasks.
This review examines the effectiveness of sit-stand workstations at reducing worker discomfort without causing a decrease in productivity. Four databases were searched for studies on sit-stand workstations, and five selection criteria were used to identify appropriate articles. Fourteen articles were identified that met at least three of the five selection criteria. Seven of the identified studies reported either local, whole body or both local and whole body subjective discomfort scores. Six of these studies indicated implementing sit-stand workstations in an office environment led to lower levels of reported subjective discomfort (three of which were statistically significant). Therefore, this review concluded that sit-stand workstations are likely effective in reducing perceived discomfort. Eight of the identified studies reported a productivity outcome. Three of these studies reported an increase in productivity during sit-stand work, four reported no affect on productivity, and one reported mixed productivity results. Therefore, this review concluded that sit-stand workstations do not cause a decrease in productivity.
Objective: To investigate whether or not use of sit-stand desks and awareness of the importance of postural variation and breaks are associated with the pattern of sedentary behavior in office workers. Method: The data came from a cross-sectional observation study of Swedish call centre workers. Inclinometers recorded 'seated' or 'standing/walking' episodes of 131 operators over a full work shift. Differences in sedentary behavior based on desk type and awareness of the importance of posture variation and breaks were assessed by non-parametric analyses. Results: 90 (68.7%) operators worked at a sit-stand desk. Working at a sit-stand desk, as opposed to a sit desk, was associated with less time seated (78.5 vs 83.8%, p = 0.010), and less time taken to accumulate 5 min of standing/walking (36.2 vs 46.3 min, p = 0.022), but no significant difference to sitting episode length or the number of switches between sitting and standing/walking per hour. Ergonomics awareness was not associated with any sedentary pattern variable among those using a sit-stand desk. Conclusion: Use of sit-stand desks was associated with better sedentary behavior in call centre workers, however ergonomics awareness did not enhance the effect.