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Written by Dr Rohan Armstrong

13 3 14


In recent times we have seen the introduction of a variety of work positions, such as the standing work station in order to combat the prolonged effects of sitting at the desk, or what some like to call ‘desk disease’.

It is well known that the prolonged effects of sitting or sedentary work has been associated with heart disease, Diabetes 2, obesity and of course musculoskeletal complaints, so the option of providing an alternative to sitting should be motivation enough you would think….

rohan desktop photo

However, whilst we recognise the importance of getting people to change from sitting to standing, and hence provide the standing workstation, the question is then how to we get our workers to actually get up more often?

The following study from The University of Queensland evaluated two different strategies to help desk-based office workers to stand up, sit less and move more, and found that a multi-component intervention was the key to success.

This involved management consultations, worker education on the dangers of prolonged sitting, individual health coaching, and brainstorming to identify opportunities to sit less, such as standing meetings or visiting colleagues instead of emailing them.

The result was that staff that received the multi-component intervention had a substantially greater reduction in sitting time.

Clearly this is important information for organisations that are looking to improved the workplace health of their employees, and tells us that changing working and sitting habits may not be as simple as just providing standing work stations.

The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Jan 2014.

The original release can be found here,