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

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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
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
Two female servers at a restaurant bar
At Work article

Study on prolonged standing and heart disease: Setting the record straight

An IWH research team tackles three common misconceptions about the implications of IWH's prolonged standing study.
Published: November 2017
The Guardian logo
IWH in the media

No, a standing desk isn't as unhealthy as smoking

A headline today has proclaimed that standing at work is “as unhealthy as a cigarette a day," citing a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Illustrated with a picture of a woman bent over her standing desk clutching at her back, we’re instructed to “sit back down." But a closer look at the research in question reveals very little to do with standing desks. In fact, the study did not look at standing desks at all, writes Suzi Gage.
Published: The Guardian, September 2017
Two female servers at a restaurant bar
Research Highlights

Prolonged standing on the job associated with higher risk of heart disease than prolonged sitting

Workers who predominantly stand on the job are at greater risk of heart disease than workers who predominantly sit. Workplace prevention efforts should target excessive standing, as well as excessive sitting, to protect the cardiovascular health of workers.
Published: September 2017