6 Nov 2015
Loughborough study explores the effect of sit-to-stand workstations on sedentary behaviour outside of office hours
Introducing sit-to-stand workstations in the office significantly reduces sitting at work but can result in slight increases in sitting outside of working hours, new research reveals.
This so-called ‘compensation effect’ is one of the main findings to come out of a study into the benefits of using sit-to-stand workstations in the office to combat sedentary behaviour.
Led by researchers at Loughborough University with support from the Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), the study introduced specialist Ergotron sit-to-stand workstations to 40 male and female office workers.
Each participant wore a position sensor attached to the leg continuously for 24 hours a day, initially for a period of 14 days prior to the desk installation, as part of a baseline assessment. The participants then received a sit-to-stand workstation to use for three months alongside a six-page information booklet about the advantages of sit-to-stand working.
The study showed that participants reduced their sitting time at work by 20% - this is equivalent to a 96 minute reduction in sitting time over a typical 8 hour work day, after three months of using the sit-to-stand workstation.
However, this study examined - for the first time - whether a reduction in sedentary time and an increase in light activity levels (standing and stepping time) during working hours were compensated for outside of work during leisure time.
The findings indicated that participants were slightly more sedentary during non-working hours following workstation installation, but, despite this, overall sedentary time across the day was still reduced when participants were using their sit-to-stand desks at work. For example, total sitting time on work days decreased by 44 minutes from an average of 10 hours 5 minutes a day (prior to workstation installation) to 9 hours 21 minutes a day after three months.
 A collaboration between Loughborough University, University Hospitals of Leicester and the University of Leicester.