Conducted by Canada's most eminent kinesiologist, first laboratory-controlled study offers new sit-to-stand workstation guidelines
TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Sit-to-stand desks are all the rage now, thanks to their health benefits and improved worker productivity. Those who change positions throughout the workday are at lower risk of developing lower-back pain, cardiovascular disease and even cancer than their sedentary peers. As recent feature stories and editorial-page cartoons in Globe and Mail, National Post and Canadian Press attest, the topic is timely and hot.
Teknion, designer and manufacturer of the new Livello Counterbalance workstation table, sponsored the groundbreaking first laboratory-controlled study on the implementation of sit-stand workstations, conducted by Canada's most eminent kinesiologist, Jack P. Callaghan, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo.
"By combining data from the IREDs and electrodes, our computer can build our subject's skeleton as it moves in three-dimensional space," Dr. Callaghan says."There are subjective scores, so we know when an individual reports feeling clinically relevant pain. Then we can look back at the measurements and see what was driving that pain: Was it due to increased muscle activity or was it posturally driven?"
Teknion funded a longitudinal study, an observational research method in which data is gathered for the same subjects repeatedly over a time period. In this case, individuals were observed over multiple four-hour time periods while working at a sit-to-stand desk performing a variety of typical office tasks. They were wired with infrared light-emitting diodes (IREDs) on their thighs, feet, pelvis, spine, trunk and head that were tracked by cameras in four corners of the room to record their posture and movement. Electrodes attached to their bodies recorded muscle activity. The subjects were constrained so that they couldn't move around, but had to either sit or stand.
The big revelation of Teknion's new study is to reverse the conventional sit-stand wisdom of a three-to-one sit-to-stand ratio. Instead, Dr. Callaghan's team found, you should stand for three and sit for one. So, if you sit for five minutes, try standing for 15 minutes. For an eight-hour workday this would break down to two hours of sitting and six hours of standing.
The Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario advises against sitting for more than six hours or standing for more than four hours. A Dutch workplace study concluded that one hour of standing without a change in posture poses a health risk. Yet another study suggests a two-hour limit for sitting per day, along with breaks for standing, or moving after 30 minutes of sitting.
"Several furniture manufacturers offer sit-to-stand products, but only Teknion is backed by a great research team providing guidelines that tell the client how to use them," says Dannion Smith, Director, Ergonomic Initiatives at Teknion. "What facility manager wouldn't want their employees to attain maximum value from the products provided?"
Teknion creates furniture that connects people, technology and spaces. Through our 30 years of dedication to innovative and sustainable design, we offer a diverse portfolio of award-winning office systems, office furniture, ergonomic accessories and architectural products. Teknion offices and facilities are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Russia and Malaysia. Visit Teknion at teknion.com and join Teknion at facebook.com/teknion.
SOURCE Teknion Corporation
Image with caption: "Dr. Jack Callaghan, Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo monitoring the progress of the Teknion-commissioned, first laboratory-controlled study on the implementation of sit-stand workstations. (CNW Group/Teknion Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150127_C5027_PHOTO_EN_11518.jpg
Image with caption: "The patented, spring-driven counterbalance mechanism in Teknion’s new Livello Counterbalance workstation desk provides a consistent user experience, independent of the weight on the table surface, that is unique in the industry. (CNW Group/Teknion Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150127_C5027_PHOTO_EN_11519.jpg
Image with caption: "At Dr. Callaghan’s kinesiology laboratory at the University of Waterloo subjects were observed while working at a sit-to-stand desk performing a variety of typical office tasks. The subjects were wired with infrared light-emitting diodes (IREDs) on their thighs, feet, pelvis, spine, trunk and head that were tracked by cameras in four corners of the room to record their posture and movement. Electrodes attached to their bodies recorded muscle activity. (CNW Group/Teknion Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150127_C5027_PHOTO_EN_11520.jpg
For further information: Mark Harris, Manager, Media Relations, Teknion Corporation, 416.661.1577, Ext. 2258, [email protected]