The authors of a new study of workplace sitting say that most workers wish they sat less and were more active throughout the day.
The study was authored by researchers from Germany and Australia and published earlier this week at the website for BMC Research Notes. It found that the 2830 German desk-bound workers they interviewed say that they sat for 73% of a typical workday. They reported walking for less than 13% of their day and standing for just over 10% of the time. Physically demanding tasks took up less than 4% of their day.
Those numbers won’t shock anyone; they are right in line with other studies that looked at workday sitting. But what might come as a bit of a surprise is the attitude most workers have when it comes to so much sedentary activity. When asked, the volunteers in this study say they wished they sat less than 54% of the time, worked standing up around 16% of the time and walked around 23% of their day. They also expressed a desire for more physically demanding tasks, putting their ideal number at just under 8% of the time.
Desk workers and other people who sit for work are vulnerable to the health risks long associated with prolonged sitting. A 2015 study even went so far as to recommend that workers in the UK try to fight those health risks by standing for as much as 4 hours a day.
But making those changes will be tough – and not inexpensive for companies. Even no-frills treadmill desks can run well over $1000. Less expensive options, like a unit that turns a traditional office desk into a desk at which a worker can stand to work can run as little as a couple of hundred dollars.
Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash