Standing desks shown to boost work performance

A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that sit-stand desks boost work performance and reduce tiredness.

A yearlong study of NHS staff

The study, led by researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough, followed 146 NHS staff over a one-year period. 77 participants were given a height-adjustable desk, instructional material and goals for increased standing time while 69 continued to use their standard desk with no additional support. It measured the time spent sitting during the working day at the start of the study and then again after three, six and 12 months. It also asked participants to fill in questionnaires about their wellbeing at work to track physical and psychological progress.

Why is it important to reduce sitting time?

Extensive research has suggested that sitting down for prolonged periods of time can lead to health conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal problems. The new study showed that sit-stand desks are effective at reducing sitting time among workers with a predominantly sedentary job.

The result? 80 minutes less sitting time per day

At the start of the trial period, the NHS staff involved were spending an average of 9.7 hours a day sitting down. The amount of time spent sitting decreased by over 80 minutes over the course of the study: at three months it had decreased by an average of 50.62 minutes a day, at six months by 64.4 minutes a day and at 12 months by 82.39 minutes a day. Furthermore, at the end of the study, participants who had been given a standing desk reported better engagement with their work and improved job performance compared to those who continued to use a standard desk. They also reported an improved quality of life and reduced fatigue and anxiety, demonstrating that sit-stand desks have a positive effect on mental wellbeing at work.

At AJ Products we think staying fit and healthy should be something that anyone can do. That’s why we’re a member of ukactive. We want to make every workplace happier, healthier and more active!


BBC News (2018) Standing-desk workers 'less tired, more engaged' [online] [accessed October 2018]

British Medical Journal (BMJ) (2018) Effectiveness of the Stand More AT (SMArT) Work intervention: cluster randomised controlled trial [online] [accessed October 2018]