New York: Replacing sitting desks with sit-stand desks in offices could offer a cost-effective and sustainable approach to reducing sedentary behaviour and fighting obesity, says a new research.
In this study, employees with sit-stand desks stood 60 minutes or more a day at work compared to their co-workers with sitting desks, and they continued to do so long after their newfangled desks lost their novelty.
Plus, the sit-stand desk users walked an additional six minutes a day at work.
Consequently, the employees with sit-stand desks burned up to 87 more calories a day than their sitting counterparts — a small but significant amount that researchers say could be important in fighting obesity.
“Our findings are important because they support redesigning the traditionally sedentary office environment as a potentially cost-effective approach for fighting the obesity epidemic,” said corresponding author Lucas Carr, assistant professor at University of Iowa in the US.
The cross-sectional study looked at employee activity over a five-day workweek. Participants had their sit-stand desks for an average of 1.8 years prior to the study.
“This study is unique in that we looked at long-term users of these desks whereas previous studies have examined employee’s sitting/standing habits immediately after being provided a new sit-stand desk, which is not a true test of whether someone will use the desk over the course of their 20- to 30-year career,” Carr said.
The study involved 69 middle-aged, mostly female employees — 31 using sit-stand desks and 38 using sitting desks–in a variety of office jobs including administrative/clerical, statistical/testing, management, marketing, research, and accounting.