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Economics of Sedentary Behaviour

It is well established that sedentary behaviour is an established risk factor for several diseases; however, its economic impacts are less understood. Published in Preventative Medicine last week, a paper titled “Economics of sedentary behaviour: A systematic review of cost of illness, cost-effectiveness, and return on investment studies” is the first review that has investigated the broader economic credentials of Sedentary Behaviour. The authors, Nguyen P et al., reviewed the literature on the economic costs associated with excessive sedentary behaviour and the cost-effectiveness of interventions targeting sedentary time. The review identified nine articles. Three reported healthcare costs associated with excessive sedentary time, and found that healthcare costs associated with excessive sedentary time as reported in cost of illness studies were substantial. However, none explored non-health sector costs. In the six articles which were economic evaluations of interventions targeting sedentary behaviour, they adopted a societal perspective. However, costs included differed depending on the intervention context. The authors concluded that excessive sedentary behaviour is likely associated with excess healthcare costs and of the limited interventions targeting sedentary behaviour reduction that have been economically evaluated, most were likely to be cost-effective. The most promising interventions from a cost-effectiveness perspective were those that included…

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Can Too Much Sitting be Contributing to Depression?

A recent blog post titled ‘Can Too much Sitting be Contributing to Depression’ was published by the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. It looked at the relationship between sitting and depression and reported that the research seems to support the idea that excessive sitting is positively correlated with an increase in depression. It also highlighted two distinct types of sedentary sitting behaviour: mentally passive (ex. Watching television) and mentally active (ex.reading or driving), and that it is the mentally passive sitting that could have deleterious health effects. You can read the full blog here.

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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…

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