The Evidence

How Can Using a Standing Desk Affect Your Productivity

This article is re-posted from a Sedentary Behaviour Research Network blog post on 3rd July 2019. Recently, research into the topic of excessive sitting, or “sedentary behaviour”, has been making headlines. The risk for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, that comes with high levels of sitting is becoming more evident (1). Office workers represent a population that spend a significant amount of time in sedentary pursuits as a consequence of their occupation (2). As more research is being published on the topic, many workplaces are seeking non-sedentary alternatives and solutions to the traditional office environment to keep their employees as healthy and productive as possible. One such solution has been the implementation of activity-permissive workstations. Activity-permissive, or alternative, workstations replace a worker’s traditional desk and are broadly categorized into either standing desks or dynamic workstations. Standing desks allow for a worker to stand while performing a task (e.g., typing, clerical work), and can be installed as additions to an existing workstation, or as height-adjustable replacement units (see Figure 1). Dynamic workstations are designed to allow for activity or movement while working, and include a variety of alternative workstations, such as: treadmill desks, cycling desks, and dynamic sitting desks…

“Sit less—move more and more often”: all physical activity is beneficial for longevity

This article was originally published in the BMJ Opinion on 21st August 2019. New research shows that any level of movement decreases risk of premature death, so get moving say Ulf Ekelund and Thomas Yates It is well established that physical activity of a moderate or vigorous intensity (such as brisk walking) is good for your health. More recently, it has also been shown that people in contemporary societies are spending the majority of their day sitting, and that this prolonged sitting is also linked to an increased risk for many chronic diseases and premature death. Current physical activity recommendations, including those recently updated for the US, suggest that at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity is needed to keep healthy and that prolonged sitting should be avoided. However, how much sitting is too much? This is not specified and is widely debated. In addition, are levels of physical activity below those recommended still beneficial for health and does light intensity physical activity still count? Answering these questions have huge relevance for health promotion. We performed a study to address these questions. Our results suggest strong associations between total physical activity and the risk of dying.…

Why Some Employers Are Paying Their Employees to Exercise

This article written by Katie MacAskill was originally published on 31 July 2019 on The Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) website. Exercising has been proven over and over again to benefit physical and mental health. In the context of the workplace, countless researchers have seen improvements in employee time management, productivity, focus, personability and more from exercise interventions. As part of their “Power of the Hour” series, a BBC article was published earlier this year on exercise breaks during the workday. The article references a variety of professionals, employers and employees to discuss the values of exercise breaks, noting that some offices even pay their employees to exercise. In recent years, an increasing number of offices are finding and setting up headquarters with a gym or workout studio available in the building. Employees in such offices who make use of these facilities are more productive and tend to leave the office more satisfied with their performance at the end of the day; not to mention the regular benefits that physical activity has on health including immediate cognitive boosts. Setting up big tables and cafes as work spaces in view of treadmills/ellipticals or gym spaces is a new idea companies are…

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