Implications of sit-stand and active workstations to counteract the adverse effects of sedentary work: A comprehensive review

Work. 2015;52(2):255-67. doi: 10.3233/WOR-152168.


Background: Sedentary work is associated with many adverse health outcomes, and sit-stand workstations in offices have emerged as a way to counteract sedentary work.

Objective: This paper reviews the existing knowledge on sit-stand workstations, treadmill workstations and bicycle workstations.

Methods: The inclusion/exclusion criteria were: 1) empirical research examining the effectiveness of sit-stand workstations in lab or field studies, 2) working adult population, 3) sit-stand workstation interventions where workers performed the same task from a seated or standing position, 4) outcomes measures of discomfort (comfort), performance, sit-stand behaviors, user satisfaction, kinematic and physiological measures. Search terms were: sit-stand, treadmill, bicycle, workstations, sedentary behavior, office ergonomics, and comfort.

Results: Many studies considered productivity, comfort and physiological measures as important outcomes to assess the efficacy of sit-stand workstations and the experimental design was variable. Preliminary data suggests that some amount of standing during an 8-hour workday could be beneficial without compromising user comfort or productivity; however, there is very little data on the efficacy of treadmill and bicycle workstations.

Conclusions: Based on these preliminary data from 26 studies, conducting large scale randomized controlled trials with ergonomic training as their essential component is recommended to understand the benefits of sit-stand workstations for prevention of sedentary work.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal symptoms; comfort and health; ergonomics training; productivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computers
  • Efficiency
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Posture*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Workplace