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Integrative Stand Up Workstations Could Improve Health

Update Date: Jan 30, 2014 02:39 PM EST

Several studies have found that sitting down continuously during work for five days a week could be detrimental for one's health. In order to combat what some researchers have dubbed the "chair disease," experts have recommended techniques such as standing up and walking around. In a new study, researchers compared two types of methods, which both involve stand up workstations. They found that the stand up workstations method that was more integrative was also more effective in combatting chair disease.

"Prolonged sitting increases the risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and musculoskeletal symptoms, and some cancers," study's lead investigator, Maike Neuhaus from the University of Queensland said reported by Medical Xpress.

Neuhaus and her colleagues examined two methods that could be used in offices in order to prevent long hours of sitting. In one group, the participants were given workstations that could be adjusted according to their standing height. In the other group, the participants were given the same type of adjustable workstations. However, this group had extra integrative support strategies, which included consultations, education and knowledge on the dangers of prolonged siting, individual health coaching, and brainstorming ideas to find ways of sitting less.

The researchers concluded that the multicomponent intervention method was the more effective one. People in this particular group ended up reducing the amount of time they sat at their workstations. The researchers believe that this study's findings could be useful for employers. By incorporating these methods, employees could potentially reduce their risks of different illnesses, which would lower medical costs and prevent loss in productivity for the company.

"Workplace advocates or champions can be useful to remind others of the importance of regular postural changes and to ensure management and colleagues are supportive of standing and moving around," Neuhaus added.

The study, "Workplace Sitting and Height-Adjustable Workstations: A Randomized Controlled Trial," was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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