Objective: This study compared the use of two different electronically controlled sit-stand tables during a 2-month intervention period among office workers.
Background: Office workers spend most of their working time sitting, which is likely detrimental to health. Although the introduction of sit-stand tables has been suggested as an effective intervention to decrease sedentary time, limited evidence is available on usage patterns and effectiveness of sit-stand table interventions.
Method: Twelve workers were provided with standard sit-stand tables (autonomous group) and 12 with semi-automated sit-stand tables programmed to change table position according to a pre-set pattern (semi-automated group). Table position was monitored continuously for two months after introducing the tables as a proxy for sedentary behavior. Workers rated perceived fatigue and effects of the table on productivity.
Results: On average, the table was in a “sit” position for 85% of the work-day in both groups; this did not change significantly during the 2-month period. Switches in table position from sit to stand were, however, more frequent in the semi-automated than in the autonomous group (0.65 vs. 0.29 hr-1; p=0.001). The groups did not differ in fatigue or perceived table effect on productivity.
Conclusion: Introducing a semi-automated sit-stand table appeared to be an attractive alternative to a standard sit-stand table, since it led to more posture variation without negative effects on fatigue or productivity.
Application: A semi-automated sit-stand table may effectively contribute to making sedentary behaviour patterns more variable among office workers, and thus aid in preventing negative health effects.