A recent study suggests that sit-stand desks may be nothing more than a whim since no benefit associated with the trendy pieces of office furniture has been revealed.
Study authors underscored that there isn’t any ‘high-quality’ evidence backing the use of the desks that allow you to either sit or stand during work hours.
According to the recent review paper, the only benefit associated with the desks is that people who use them at office spend up to two hours less sitting than their co-workers working at traditional desks.
Researchers concluded that there is little evidence supporting the desk’s short-term effectiveness in reducing sitting time and, subsequently, the health conditions associated with prolonged sitting. Plus, there is absolutely no proof that standing desks may bring any benefit on the long run.
The study was published this week in The Cochrane Library.
Dr. Jos Verbeek, one of the researchers involved in the analysis and occupational health expert at a prestigious institute in Finland, noted that the findings came as a surprise since the desks were especially designed to help workers spend more time standing and move a bit while working.
Verbeek acknowledged that there are occupations that requires from workers to sit all day long at a computer. So, it is rather hard to having to look at a screen in front of you while also trying to move around.
Researchers were also surprised to learn that only small studies tried to assess the benefits of the sit-stand desks. Large studies on the issue were never conducted. Yet, although the new study may entice workers to make friends again with their conventional desks, the dangers of sitting too long are still out there.
For the recent review paper, researchers sifted through about 20 studies which had involved more than 2,000 employees who had sedentary jobs. Some of those studies also analyzed other strategies used by employers to prevent workers from sitting for too long.
For instance, some offices had bicycles under the desks or other types of active workstations. Other work places encouraged employees to remain physically active by placing printers in locations that required moving around.
But when the team compared sitting time of workers in these offices and people working in traditional environments, they learned that the strategies were not very effective on the short run, while for the long-term benefits there was absolutely no evidence.
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