Title

More standing and just as productive: effects of a sit-stand desk intervention on call center workers’ sitting, standing, and productivity at work in the Opt to Stand pilot study

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Chau, JY, Sukala, W, Fedel, K, Do, A, Engelen, L, Kinhgam, M, Sainsbury, A & Bauman, AE 2016, 'More standing and just as productive: effects of a sit-stand desk intervention on call center workers’ sitting, standing, and productivity at work in the Opt to Stand pilot study', Preventive Medicine Reports, vol. 3, pp. 68-74.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of sit-stand desks on workers' objectively and subjectively assessed sitting, physical activity, and productivity. This quasi-experimental study involved one intervention group (n = 16) and one comparison group (n = 15). Participants were call center employees from two job-matched teams at a large telecommunications company in Sydney, Australia (45% female, 33 ± 11 years old). Intervention participants received a sit-stand desk, brief training, and daily e-mail reminders to stand up more frequently for the first 2 weeks post-installation. Control participants carried out their usual work duties at seated desks. Primary outcomes were workday sitting and physical activity assessed using ActivPAL or ActiGraph devices and self-report questionnaires. Productivity outcomes were company-specific objective metrics (e.g., hold time, talking time, absenteeism) and subjective measures. Measurements were taken at baseline, 1, 4, and 19 weeks post-installation. Intervention participants increased standing time after 1 week (+ 73 min/workday (95% CI: 22, 123)) and 4 weeks (+ 96 min/workday (95% CI: 41, 150)) post-intervention, while control group showed no changes. Between-group differences in standing time at one and 4 weeks were + 78 (95% CI: 9, 147) and + 95 min/workday (95% CI: 15, 174), respectively. Sitting time in the intervention group changed by − 64 (95% CI: − 125, − 2), − 76 (95% CI: − 142, − 11), and − 100 min/workday (95% CI: − 172, − 29) at 1, 4, and 19 weeks post-installation, respectively, while the control group showed no changes. No changes were observed in productivity outcomes from baseline to follow-up in either group. Sit-stand desks can increase standing time at work in call center workers without reducing productivity.