The views of General Practitioners about using sit-stand desks

Most GPs would like a sit-stand desk at work; however, they are unsure of the impact on the doctor-patient relationship if used during face-to-face consultations.

We emailed an online survey to members of the Royal College of General Practitioners and shared on social media. Only GPs working in the UK were eligible to respond. The survey included questions on socio-demographics, GPs' views about the use of sit-stand desks within their work, their levels of physical activity, total time spent sitting each day at work and time spent at work.

This study has highlighted that there is a willingness by GPs to use sit-stand desks within patient consultations, and for other work tasks. However, it would be premature to proceed with a widescale implementation of sit-stand desks in general practice before evidence about their impact on the working day, doctor-patient relationship and health of GPs is known.

What next?

Future research should assess whether standing consultations lead to GPs and patients sitting less and being more physically active. Future research should also consider investigating specifically whether standing consultations impact the doctor-patient relationship, and if they do, how to negate the negative or utilise the positive.  

Citation details

Biddle GJH, Thomas N, Edwardson CL, Clemes SA, Daley AJ. The views of general practitioners about using sit-stand desks: An observational study. BJGP Open. 2022 Mar 4:BJGPO.2021.0203. doi: 10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0203.

Acknowledgments 

The authors would like to thank all the GPs who completed the study questionnaire. Also, our thanks go to the RCGP who facilitated and organised data collection processes.

Find out more about our work in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases

Our researchers

Greg Biddle

Dr Greg Biddle

Research Associate, GP standing desk research

Amanda Daley

Professor Amanda Daley

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Centre Director