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  • Author: Nicholas D. Gilson x
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Nicholas D. Gilson, Caitlin Hall, Angela Renton, Norman Ng and William von Hippel

Background:

This pilot study investigated the links between psychobiological indicators of work productivity, prolonged desk sitting, and conditions whereby office workers were able to interrupt sitting using a sit–stand or treadmill desk.

Methods:

Twenty participants visited our laboratory and completed their own desk work in counterbalanced sit-only, sit–stand (Varidesk Pro Plus 48™), and sit–walk conditions (Infiniti TR1200-DTS™). Steady-state visually evoked potentials calculated from electroencephalography recordings during a set task at the end of the workday assessed attentional resource. Salivary cortisol samples were taken during the morning and afternoon to measure stress response. Within-subject analyses were used to compare work productivity indicators relative to condition.

Results:

No significant differences in mean steady-state visually evoked potential amplitude were observed, although attentional resource allocation was found to be the most effective following the sit–stand [1.01 (0.46) μV] compared with the sit–walk [0.9 (0.28) μV] and sit-only [0.91 (0.32) μV] conditions. The mean magnitude of decrease in cortisol was most apparent when workers used treadmill (1.5 nmol/L; P = .007) and sit–stand (1.6 nmol/L; P = .001) desks, and least evident in the sit-only condition (1.0 nmol/L; P = .146).

Conclusions:

The findings highlight the potential benefits of standing or active deskwork to the allocation of attentional resources and the regulation of stress.

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Nicholas D. Gilson, Caitlin Hall, Andreas Holtermann, Allard J. van der Beek, Maaike A. Huysmans, Svend Erik Mathiassen and Leon Straker

Background: This systematic review assessed evidence on the accelerometer-measured sedentary and physical activity (PA) behavior of nonoffice workers in “blue-collar” industries. Methods: The databases CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Scopus were searched up to April 6, 2018. Eligibility criteria were accelerometer-measured sedentary, sitting, and/or PA behaviors in “blue-collar” workers (≥10 participants; agricultural, construction, cleaning, manufacturing, mining, postal, or transport industries). Data on participants’ characteristics, study protocols, and measured behaviors during work and/or nonwork time were extracted. Methodologic quality was assessed using a 12-item checklist. Results: Twenty studies (representing 11 data sets), all from developed world economies, met inclusion criteria. The mean quality score for selected studies was 9.5 (SD 0.8) out of a maximum of 12. Data were analyzed using a range of analytical techniques (eg, accelerometer counts or pattern recognition algorithms). “Blue-collar” workers were more sedentary and less active during nonwork compared with work time (eg, sitting 5.7 vs 3.2 h/d; moderate to vigorous PA 0.5 vs 0.7 h/d). Drivers were the most sedentary (work time 5.1 h/d; nonwork time 8.2 h/d). Conclusions: High levels of sedentary time and insufficient PA to offset risk are health issues for “blue-collar” workers. To better inform interventions, research groups need to adopt common measurement and reporting methodologies.