Effects of Time in Sitting and Standing on Pleasantness, Acceptability, Fatigue, and Pain When Using a Sit–Stand Desk: An Experiment on Overweight and Normal-Weight Subjects

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Background: Sit–stand desks have been suggested as an initiative to increase posture variation among office workers. However, there is limited evidence of what would be preferable combinations of time sitting and standing. The aim of this study was to determine and compare perceived pleasantness, acceptability, pain, and fatigue for 5 time patterns of sitting and standing at a sit–stand desk. Methods: Thirty postgraduate students were equally divided into a normal-weight (mean body mass index 22.8 kg/m2) and an overweight/obese (mean body mass index 28.1 kg/m2) group. They performed 3 hours of computer work at a sit–stand desk on 5 different days, each day with a different time pattern (A: 60-min sit/0-min stand; B: 50/10; C: 40/20; D: 30/30; E: 20/40). Pleasantness, acceptability, pain, and fatigue ratings were obtained at the beginning and at the end of the 3-hour period. Results: High ratings of pleasantness were observed for time patterns B, C, and D in both groups. All participants rated acceptability to be good for time patterns A to D. A minor increase in perceived fatigue and pain was observed in time pattern E. Conclusion: For new sit–stand desk users, regardless of body mass index, 10 to 30 minutes of standing per hour appears to be an amenable time pattern.

Barbieri, Brusaca, and Oliveira are with the Laboratory of Clinical and Occupational Kinesiology, Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil. Mathiassen is with the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.

Oliveira (biaoliveira@ufscar.br) is corresponding author.

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