TitleLong-term effects of sit-stand workstations on workplace sitting: A natural experiment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsZhu, W, Gutierrez, M, Toledo, MJ, Mullane, S, Stella, APark, Diemar, R, Buman, KF, Buman, MP
JournalJ Sci Med Sport
Date Published2018 Aug
KeywordsAdult, Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure, Efficiency, Exercise, Female, Health Promotion, Humans, Insulin, Lipids, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Health, Posture, Workplace

OBJECTIVE: Sit-stand workstations may result in significant reductions in workplace sitting. However, few studies have examined long-term maintenance under real-world conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate workplace sitting time, cardio-metabolic biomarkers, and work productivity during a workplace re-design which included the installation of sit-stand workstations.

DESIGN: Natural experiment with appropriately matched comparison.

METHODS: Office workers from distinct worksites in the same unit were recruited (Intervention, n=24; Comparison, n=12). Intervention arm participants received a sit-stand workstation and 4 months of sitting-specific motivational support. The comparison arm received 4 months of ergonomic focused motivational support. Time spent in sitting, standing, and other physical activity were measured by activPAL3c for a week. Cardio-metabolic biomarkers and work productivity were also measured. Assessments occurred at baseline, 4 months, and 18 months.

RESULTS: At 4 months, work sitting time was reduced by 56.7±89.1min/8h workday (d=-0.64), relative to comparison. Standing time (37.4±69.2min/8h workday; d=0.54) and sit-to-stand transitions (3.3±0.4min/8h workday, d=0.44) were also improved relative to comparison. At 18 months, work sitting time reductions (52.6±68.3min/8h workday; d=-0.77) and standing time improvements (17.7±54.8min/8h workday, d=0.32) were maintained in the intervention group relative to comparison. Cardio-metabolic and work productivity changes were mixed; however, strongest effects favoring the intervention group were observed at 18 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Sit-stand workstations, accompanied with behavioral support, were effective in reducing workplace and overall daily sitting and increasing standing time in a real-world setting. The effect appears to have been sustained for 18 months, with mixed results in cardio-metabolic and productivity outcomes.

Alternate JournalJ Sci Med Sport
PubMed ID29289496