Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Get Up, Stand Up! BJSM Report Recommends 2 Hours of Standing at Work

© Gombert
A report issued June 1 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends that office workers stand for at least 2 hours during working hours, with 4 hours per day being the ultimate goal. The report suggests that workers break up prolonged periods of sitting by using sit-stand desks where available, identifying standing-friendly tasks and walking around regularly.

“For those working in offices, 65% to 75% of their working hours are spent sitting, of which more than 50% is accumulated in prolonged periods of sustained sitting,” the expert panel that compiled the report says. “The evidence is clearly emerging that a first 'behavioral’ step could be simply to get people standing and moving more frequently as part of their working day."

The group also recommends that office workers:
  • Avoid prolonged static standing, which may be as harmful as prolonged sitting.
  • Alter posture to alleviate possible musculoskeletal pain and fatigue as part of the adaptive process.
  • Embrace other healthy behaviors, such as cutting down on drinking and smoking, eating a nutritious diet and alleviating stress.
In the report, the authors acknowledge that much of the evidence on which these recommendations are based comes from observational and retrospective studies, which makes it difficult to prove direct cause and effect. That said, the experts conclude, “While longer-term intervention studies are required, the level of consistent evidence accumulated to date, and the public health context of rising chronic diseases, suggest initial guidelines are justified.”

Download a PDF of the article on the BJSM website.