Acceptability and effects of a seated active workstation during sedentary work

Lucas J. Carr (Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA)
Hotaka Maeda (Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Brandon Luther (Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Patrick Rider (Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Sharon J. Tucker (Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA)
Christoph Leonhard (The Chicago School of Professional Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Publication date: 4 March 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the user acceptability (Phase 1) and effects (Phase 2) of completing sedentary work while using a seated active workstation.

Design/methodology/approach

In Phase 1, 45 sedentary employees completed an acceptability questionnaire immediately after performing sedentary work tasks (typing, mousing) while using the seated active workstation for 30 minutes. In Phase 2, the paper tested the differential effects of completing sedentary work tasks at two different workstations (sedentary workstation vs seated active workstation) on physiological (energy expenditure, muscle activity, heart rate, blood pressure), cognitive (learning, memory, attention) and work performance (typing and mousing ability) outcomes among 18 sedentary employees.

Findings

In Phase 1, 96 percent of participants reported they would use the seated active workstation “daily” if provided access in their office. In Phase 2, working while using the seated active workstation increased energy expenditure (p<0.001; d=3.49), heart rate (p<0.001; d=1.26), systolic blood pressure (p=0.02; d=0.79), and muscle activation of the biceps femoris (p<0.001; d=1.36) and vastus lateralis (p<0.001; d=1.88) over the sedentary workstation. No between-group differences were observed for any measures of cognitive function. Mouse point and click time was slower while using the seated active workstation (p=0.02).

Research limitations/implications

These findings suggest this seated active workstation to be acceptable by users and effective for offsetting occupational sedentary time without compromising cognitive function and/or work performance.

Originality/value

The present study is the first to test the potential of this seated active workstation in any capacity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Office of Sponsored Programs at East Carolina University. The LifeBalance Station used in this study was donated in kind by the manufacturer.

Citation

J. Carr, L., Maeda, H., Luther, B., Rider, P., J. Tucker, S. and Leonhard, C. (2014), "Acceptability and effects of a seated active workstation during sedentary work ", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 2-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-03-2013-0008

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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