Estimated impact of replacing sitting with standing at work on indicators of body composition: Cross-sectional and longitudinal findings using isotemporal substitution analysis on data from the Take a Stand! study

PLoS One. 2018 Jun 13;13(6):e0198000. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198000. eCollection 2018.


The purpose was to examine and compare the effects of replacing time spent sitting with standing at work on fat-free mass, fat mass and waist circumference using isotemporal substitution. Analyses were conducted on work hours on both cross-sectional and longitudinal data. The study included 223 persons from an intervention study aimed at reducing sitting time at work among office employees. Sitting, standing and anthropometry were measured objectively. Cross-sectional isotemporal substitution analyses were modelled on baseline data, while longitudinal analyses were modelled based on differences in sitting and standing time at work between baseline and 1-month follow-up in relation to differences in anthropometric measures between baseline and 3-months follow-up. Replacing one hour of sitting time with one hour of standing was associated with a 0.21 kg higher fat-free mass in the longitudinal analysis and 0.95 kg in the cross-sectional analysis. Fat mass was 0.32 kg lower in the longitudinal analysis and 0.61 kg lower in the cross-sectional analysis. Waist circumference decreased by 0.38 cm in the longitudinal analysis and 0.81 cm in the cross-sectional analysis. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses showed an effect on body composition measures by replacing one hour of sitting with standing however, this effect was largest in the cross-sectional analyses. Trial registration NCT01996176.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Posture*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Time Factors
  • Waist Circumference
  • Workplace*

Associated data


Grant support

Funding from The Danish foundation TrygFonden:, Grant number N/A. Journal number: 7220-08. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.