Comparisons of musculoskeletal complaints and data entry between a sitting and a sit-stand workstation paradigm

Hum Factors. 2009 Jun;51(3):310-20. doi: 10.1177/0018720809338173.


Background: Seated working positions are often regarded as a cause for discomfort in the musculoskeletal system. Performing work in different working positions--that is, alternating between sitting and standing (sit-stand workstation paradigm)--could help reduce physical complaints.

Objective: The questions were whether performing office work partly in a standing position leads to reduced complaints and whether standing would change the efficiency of data entry office work.

Method: We investigated the effect of a sit-stand workstation paradigmd during experimental data entry office work on physical and psychological complaints and data entry efficiency by conducting a randomized controlled trial with 60 male participants ages 18 to 35 years.

Results: In this experiment, musculoskeletal complaints were reduced by a sit-stand workstation paradigm. A trend could be identified indicating a small but nonsignificant loss of efficiency in data entry while standing.

Conclusion: A sit-stand workstation paradigm reduces musculoskeletal complaints without considerably affecting data entry efficiency under the presented study conditions (young male participants, short duration, fixed and controlled sit-stand workstation paradigm, simulated experimental working condition).

Application: According to the present data, implementing a sit-stand workstation paradigm can be an effective workplace health intervention to reduce musculoskeletal complaints. This experiment encourages further studies on the effectiveness of a sit-stand workstation paradigm. Experimental research and field studies that prove the reduction of complaints when introducing a sit-stand workstation paradigm in the workplace could be the basis for evidence-based recommendations regarding such interventions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult