+AA
Fr
Back
Evidence Summary

What is an Evidence Summary?

Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

Got It, Hide this
  • Rating:

Active workstations can lead to decreased sedentary (sitting) time

Torbeyns T, Bailey S, Bos I et al. Active workstations to fight sedentary behaviour Sports Med. 2014;44:1261-73.

Review question

What are the effects of active workstations on health and work performance? 

Background

Sedentary behaviour – low energy activity such as sitting or lying down – has a direct impact on health.  Active workstations allow people to combine physical activity with desk tasks that are normally done sitting down and may help to reduce sedentary time. No systematic reviews have previously focused on the impact of active workstations on health and work performance.

How the review was done

This is a systematic review of 32 studies (including 15 randomized controlled trials) published between 2001 and 2014. Over 800 participants were included in the studies. The quality of the included studies varied: 12 were strong, 10 were moderate and 10 were weak quality.

Key features of the included studies:

  • Measured the impacts of different types of active workstations on a variety of outcomes, including sitting time and/or physical activity, energy use, work performance, health outcomes (eg. weight, cholesterol)
  • 27 studies measured effects of active workstations in adults (19-64 years old); 5 studies measured effects on children.
  • Types of workstations included standing desks (16 studies), treadmill desks (15 studies) and other options, such as elliptical and cycling stations (3 studies)
  • The duration of the studies varied from 1 week to 1 year.  None of the studies required participants to use the workstations for a specific amount of time.  

What the researchers found

Generally, results suggest that given the choice, workers will use active workstations, which results in reduced sedentary behavior and increased energy expenditure during the work day. The impact on health outcomes is less clear as there were mixed effects on measures such as body weight, cholesterol, fat percentage and waist size. More research is needed to determine the effect of active workstations on work performance, and the specific impacts of active workstations on different age groups.

Conclusion

Active workstations lead to decreased time spent sitting, increased energy expenditure, and may improve health.

 




Glossary

Randomized controlled trials
Studies where people are assigned to one of the treatments purely by chance.
Systematic review
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.

Related Web Resources

  • Preparing for surgery

    Evidently Cochrane
    Bathing with general wash products before surgery to prevent infection has similar benefits to bathing with antiseptic solutions.
  • Preventing deep vein thrombosis

    Evidently Cochrane
    Compression stockings help to prevent deep vein thrombosis (blood clots and swelling) after surgery. You can choose to wear thigh or knee length stockings.
  • Worried about dementia? Here are 5 ways to cut your risk

    HealthLine
    Dementia affects millions of people around the world, and there is no current treatment. There are a few ways to lower your risk. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, stay social, and limit alcohol and smoking.
DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Register for free access to all Professional content

Register
Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.
Subscribe

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2020 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use