Influence of a two desk sit-to-stand workplace on sedentary behaviour and overall physical activity

Bernhard Schwartz, Arnold Baca

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Introduction Prolonged sitting is ubiquitous in modern society and linked to several diseases (Dunstan et al., 2012). To decrease worksite based sitting time (ST) height-adjustable desks are recommended. Common one desk sit-to-stand workplaces exhibit small ST reduction potential and compensational short-term loss of weekly physical activity (PA) (Mansoubi et al., 2016). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the long term efficiency of a novel two desk sit-to-stand workplace on ST and overall PA. Methods Eighteen participants (55 % men, mean age = 36 yr., 100% office based) participated in a three-arm, one-year randomized crossover intervention study. Allocation was done via a regional health insurance, with data collection during Jan 2014 – March 2015. Intervention group subjects have been provided with traditional or two-desk sit-to-stand workstations, while control subjects did not experience any changes during the whole study duration. For estimating PA and ST the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-long) was used (Hagströmer et al., 2005). Results Pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni adjustments were performed to locate significant differences in ST and PA. At baseline, employees sat 11:02 ± 2:02 h/day and 74:06 ± 11:06 h/week. For sit-to-stand workplace users in comparison to baseline, the proportion of ST significantly decreased for working days (-190 min, p <0.01) and weeks (-853 min, p < 0.05). There were no significant changes for control periods and the control group in ST for working days and weeks. Weekly overall and non-working PA (median: 3198 MET-min wk-1) did not change within any group or time period. Discussion This study examines the effect of a novel two desk sit-to-stand workplace on ST and PA. It has been shown that concerns about a long-term compensational loss of weekly PA are baseless. Reductions in ST differ between individuals and are considerably larger than in comparable studies (Neuhaus et al., 2014). In our view, the main reason for this effect are behaviour change theory techniques (BCTs) indirectly implemented in two desk setups. Our findings are limited due to a small sample size, strong inclusion criteria and the volunteer recruiting process. Although it may be concluded that ST reductions for common employees are noticeably smaller, we assume that our two desk sit-to-stand workplace can be used to fulfil occupational ST recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEuropean College of Sport Science 2016 (ECSS) - Vienna , Austria
Duration: 6 Jul 20169 Jul 2016


ConferenceEuropean College of Sport Science 2016 (ECSS)
Internet address


  • Physical Activity
  • Sedentary Behaviour
  • Height Adjustable Desks


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