#DoesItWorkSummary: Which is the Best Intervention for Reducing Sitting Time at Work?

By Atanas G. Atanasov


Background: This #DoesItWorkSummary is based on the findings of a Cochrane Systematic Review published in June 2018 [1]. Life in modern societies brings increasing number of occupations that require prolonged office sitting times. Unfortunately, this has detrimental results on health, because physical inactivity and excessive sitting result in increased total risk of death, heart disease, and body weight gain [2,3]. Aiming to improve the health of workers, diverse interventions are advocated to reduce office sitting times. To get an overview of scientifically documented effectiveness of the existing different types of interventions, evaluation of the published scientific literature was done.

#DoesItWorkSummary Which is the Best Intervention for Reducing Sitting Time at Work

Findings: Analyzed were 34 studies addressing office sitting times, with a total of 3,397 participants. Based on the existing scientific evidence, the use of sit‐stand desks at work reduces sitting time on average by 84 to 116 minutes per day [1]. The reduction of sitting time was a bit stronger in the first 3 months than in the period of 3-to-12 months after the introduction of the sit‐stand desks. The observed effects of other interventions, such as provision of information and counselling, workplace policy changes, and multi‐component interventions, are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions for their efficacy.



1          Shrestha, N., Kukkonen-Harjula, K.T., Verbeek, J.H., Ijaz, S., Hermans, V. and Pedisic, Z. (2018) Workplace Interventions for Reducing Sitting at Work. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010912.pub4.

2          Chau, J.Y., Grunseit, A.C., Chey, T., Stamatakis, E., Brown, W.J., Matthews, C.E., Bauman, A.E. and van der Ploeg, H.P. (2013) Daily Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. Gorlova, O.Y., Ed., PLoS ONE, 8, e80000. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080000.

3          Hamilton, M.T., Hamilton, D.G. and Zderic, T.W. (2007) Role of Low Energy Expenditure and Sitting in Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease. Diabetes, 56, 2655–67. https://doi.org/10.2337/db07-0882.


Keywords: #DoesItWorkSummary, interventions for reducing sitting time at work, sit‐stand desks, work while standing desk.


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