Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test the user acceptability (Phase 1) and effects (Phase 2) of completing sedentary work while using a seated active workstation. Design/methodology/approach – In Phase 1, 45 sedentary employees completed an acceptability questionnaire immediately after performing sedentary work tasks (typing, mousing) while using the seated active workstation for 30 minutes. In Phase 2, the paper tested the differential effects of completing sedentary work tasks at two different workstations (sedentary workstation vs seated active workstation) on physiological (energy expenditure, muscle activity, heart rate, blood pressure), cognitive (learning, memory, attention) and work performance (typing and mousing ability) outcomes among 18 sedentary employees. Findings – In Phase 1, 96 percent of participants reported they would use the seated active workstation “daily” if provided access in their office. In Phase 2, working while using the seated active workstation increased energy expenditure ( p <0.001; d =3.49), heart rate ( p <0.001; d =1.26), systolic blood pressure ( p= 0.02; d =0.79), and muscle activation of the biceps femoris ( p <0.001; d =1.36) and vastus lateralis ( p <0.001; d =1.88) over the sedentary workstation. No between‐group differences were observed for any measures of cognitive function. Mouse point and click time was slower while using the seated active workstation ( p= 0.02). Research limitations/implications – These findings suggest this seated active workstation to be acceptable by users and effective for offsetting occupational sedentary time without compromising cognitive function and/or work performance. Originality/value – The present study is the first to test the potential of this seated active workstation in any capacity.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 4, 2014
Keywords: Health promotion; Exercise; Health and productivity; Workplace wellness