Sitting and standing at work

Sedentary behaviour, including prolonged and static sitting and standing at work, is of growing concern to workplaces and workers because of its potential negative effects on health and comfort. IWH research explores the association between prolonged sitting and/or standing and chronic illnesses, musculoskeletal disorders and premature death, as well as prevention guidelines that will reduce these effects

Featured

Two men lift heavy furniture off a truck
At Work article

Emerging evidence points to negative health effects of physical work demands

Recent studies are suggesting physically demanding work can have negative effects on workers’ cardiovascular health. At a recent IWH Speaker Series presentation, Associate Scientist Dr. Avi Biswas discussed how workplaces and policy-makers can help.
Published: July 30, 2021
Video

Sitting or standing? Which is best?

Confused about whether sitting or standing all day at work is bad for you? This video may help clear things up. Two of the scientists behind the seemingly conflicting headlines sort out the take-away message.
Published: November 13, 2018
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Is there an optimal daily movement pattern for heart health? A study of Canadian workers' activity tracker data

For optimal heart health, physical activity guidelines recommend that all adults exercise for at least 150-300 minutes a week at moderate intensity or for 75-150 minutes a week at vigorous intensity (or a combination of the two). Given the different ways that workers move at work and outside work, little is known as to whether certain patterns of daily movement are optimal for the heart health of Canadian workers. In this presentation, IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Avi Biswas shares findings from a recently completed study that identified the typical daily movement profiles of Canadian workers, using activity tracker data. He describes different groups of workers' typical movement patterns and their future heart disease risks. He also discusses whether any movement patterns present alternative strategies to the existing physical activity guidelines.
Published: June 2022
Two men lift heavy furniture off a truck
At Work article

Emerging evidence points to negative health effects of physical work demands

Recent studies are suggesting physically demanding work can have negative effects on workers’ cardiovascular health. At a recent IWH Speaker Series presentation, Associate Scientist Dr. Avi Biswas discussed how workplaces and policy-makers can help.
Published: July 2021
Vice logo
IWH in the media

How to take care of your body if you stand all day at work

“Work is pretty much the only environment where people tend to stand for prolonged periods of time.” So said IWH's Dr. Peter Smith in an article by Em Cassel on the negative health effects of working on one's feet all day long.
Published: Vice, July 2021
Journal article
Journal article

Stressful by design: exploring health risks of ride-share work

Published: Journal of Transport & Health, June 2019
NSC Safety + Health
IWH in the media

Sitting or standing too much at work? New video addresses ways to lower associated health risks

Sitting or standing for prolonged periods may adversely affect workers’ health, according to several recent studies. So, what should workers do? In a video titled Sitting or standing? Which is best?, two IWH researchers behind the studies answer that question to help clarify their recent research.
Published: Safety + Health, December 2018
Video
Video

Sitting or standing? Which is best?

If you’re confused by seemingly duelling headlines about the negative health effects of prolonged sitting and prolonged standing, this video may help clear things up. Two of the scientists behind these headlines work at the Institute for Work & Health, so we put them before the camera, side by side, to sort out the take-away message.
Published: November 2018
Journal article
Journal article

Is promoting six hours of standing an appropriate public health message?

Published: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, March 2018
Journal article
The back of a cook in a restaurant kitchen
At Work article

Standing too long at work carries twice the risk of heart disease as sitting too long

There has been a lot of interest in recent years in the health risks of prolonged sitting. But a study by IWH and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences suggests you might spare a thought for people in jobs that mostly involve standing (e.g. cooks, tellers, cashiers).
Published: November 2017