Energy expenditure of standing compared to sitting while conducting office tasks
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Jill Burns, Cuisle Forde, Sara Dockrell, Energy expenditure of standing compared to sitting while conducting office tasks, Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, July 17, 2017
This study aimed to investigate the energy expenditure of common office-based tasks. The objectives were to: (a) test the classification of tasks as sedentary or light-intensity physical activity and (b) compare the energy expenditure of tasks under two postural conditions (sitting and standing). The sedentary nature of office work has been highlighted as a health risk, and strategies to reduce sedentary behavior at work have been developed. However, there is limited evidence to guide the utilization of sit-stand workstations in the workplace for metabolic health benefits. Method: A repeated measures laboratory-based study compared the energy expenditure of common office tasks in sitting and standing using indirect calorimetry (n = 22). Four standardized tasks (sitting/standing quietly, reading, typing, sorting paper) under two postural conditions (sitting, standing) were performed in a randomized order. The mean energy expenditure for all tasks in sitting and standing was <1.5 METs. There were no significant differences in the energy expenditure of doing the same task in sitting compared to standing. In a repeated measures ANOVA, task (p < .001) had a greater influence on METs expended than posture (p = .030). The study confirmed that the difference in energy expenditure of tasks carried out in sitting compared to standing is negligible. The ubiquitous use and utility of sitstand workstations in the workplace needs to be reviewed. Notwithstanding the potential benefits of movement that may occur naturally, this study confirmed that standing as opposed to sitting does not produce a clinically important increase in energy expenditure.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Availability:Full text available