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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Evaluation of sit-stand workstations in an office setting: a randomised controlled trial

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Lee E. F. Graves, Rebecca C. Murphy, Sam O. Shepherd, Josephine Cabot, Nicola D. Hopkins
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

Ergotron Ltd (www.​ergotron.​com) provided the sit-stand workstations for the present study. Ergotron had no involvement or influence on the provenance, commissioning, conduct or the findings of the study. No other financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.

Authors’ contributions

LG conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. RM participated in the design of the study and its coordination, and carried out and analysed interviews. SS participated in the design of the study and its coordination, and carried out and analysed blood sampling. JC participated in study coordination, and carried out and analysed anthropometric and survey data collection. NH participated in the design of the study and its coordination, and carried out and analysed vascular measurements. All authors revised the manuscript, and read and approved the final manuscript.



Excessive sitting time is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity independent of physical activity. This aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a sit-stand workstation on sitting time, and vascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal outcomes in office workers, and to investigate workstation acceptability and feasibility.


A two-arm, parallel-group, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted in one organisation. Participants were asymptomatic full-time office workers aged ≥18 years. Each participant in the intervention arm had a sit-stand workstation installed on their workplace desk for 8 weeks. Participants in the control arm received no intervention. The primary outcome was workplace sitting time, assessed at 0, 4 and 8 weeks by an ecological momentary assessment diary. Secondary behavioural, cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal outcomes were assessed. Acceptability and feasibility were assessed via questionnaire and interview. ANCOVA and magnitude-based inferences examined intervention effects relative to controls at 4 and 8 weeks. Participants and researchers were not blind to group allocation.


Forty-seven participants were randomised (intervention n = 26; control n = 21). Relative to the control group at 8 weeks, the intervention group had a beneficial decrease in sitting time (−80.2 min/8-h workday (95 % CI = −129.0, −31.4); p = 0.002), increase in standing time (72.9 min/8-h workday (21.2, 124.6); p = 0.007) and decrease in total cholesterol (−0.40 mmol/L  (−0.79, −0.003); p = 0.049). No harmful changes in musculoskeletal discomfort/pain were observed relative to controls, and beneficial changes in flow-mediated dilation and diastolic blood pressure were observed. Most participants self-reported that the workstation was easy to use and their work-related productivity did not decrease when using the device. Factors that negatively influenced workstation use were workstation design, the social environment, work tasks and habits.


Short-term use of a feasible sit-stand workstation reduced daily sitting time and led to beneficial improvements in cardiometabolic risk parameters in asymptomatic office workers. These findings imply that if the observed use of the sit-stand workstations continued over a longer duration, sit-stand workstations may have important ramifications for the prevention and reduction of cardiometabolic risk in a large proportion of the working population.

Trial registration NCT02496507.
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