To help us gain a better understanding of the prevalence and availability of sit-to-stand options in today’s workplace, we recently asked our blog readers this question:
Does your company offer a sit-to-stand option for office work?
With over 100 responses in, 55% answered “Yes” they are offered a sit-to-stand option, and 48% answered “No” they’re not offered the option at all.
The sit/stand topic continues to attract widespread media interest and represents one of the hottest discussions in worker health and productivity today. Most often, the gist of the “sit or stand?” question is whether or not, and how long, workers should stand or sit during extended periods of office work. Unfortunately, numerous recommendations and different equipment and furniture options have made the discussion downright confusing.
At Humantech, we recognize that prolonged sitting may result in adverse health outcomes, including musculoskeletal (MSD) injury, and that prolonged standing can also have negative health consequences and create MSD concerns in the lower limbs.
The Current Research
Recently, a handful of studies have focused on the impacts a standing workstation has on worker productivity, and on body mass index (BMI) reduction in children. And in a new Bottom Line video, ergonomist Blake McGowan shares the guidelines for sitting and standing at work based on the study “Is Standing the Solution to Sedentary Office Work?”, by Jack P. Callaghan and his colleagues at the University of Waterloo.
From the study, Callahan et al. recommend:
- We should strive for a 1:1 ratio of seated work and non-seated work throughout the day
- When just starting out, limit non-seated work time to 2 hours until your body adapts
- Continually move between sitting, standing, and walking during the day
- Limit prolonged sitting to 2 hours at any one time
- Limit static standing to 15 minutes at a time
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised that the ‘yes’ votes outnumbered the ‘no’ votes among our group of readers. Our assumption was that it would have been closer, or that the ‘no’ votes would edge out the ‘yes’ votes. Is this small poll a fair indicator that more and more organizations are making the sit-to-stand option available to office workers? What do you think?