Get up, stand up: UPEI researchers look at effectiveness of standing desks – Prince Edward Island

A group of researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island has published the results of a pilot study on the latest craze in office furniture: standing desks. 

Based on epidemiological research that suggests sitting increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease, the study looked into the effectiveness of standing desks and whether or not they actually make people sit less.

The researchers used two groups of respondents during their three month study. An intervention group was given standing desks, while a control group continued to work sitting down.

Standing desks actually keeping people on their feet

Travis Saunders, an assistant professor of applied human sciences at UPEI said the study’s main purpose was to determine if standing desks made people sit less. Researchers also looked at the preliminary health benefits a person could experience if they were to use a standing desk.

“We know it’s a challenge to get people to go from being inactive to being active,” Saunders told CBC’s Maritime Noon.

UPEI researcher Travis Saunders says standing desks could help inactive people reduce their risk of diabetes. (CBC)


“Whereas, giving people standing desks it might be an easier sort of gateway approach to something that might have a positive impact on reducing risks for diabetes or slowing the progression of diabetes. I think it could be a nice intervention we could add to the arsenal to help people control their blood sugar.”

According to Saunders, the study did prove that standing desks work. The results show those in the intervention group stood two-and-a-half hours a day more when given a standing desk.

“What was interesting was that they didn’t compensate by sitting more outside of work time. So, they weren’t, you know, exhausted from all the standing at work and go home and sit on the couch all night,” Saunders said.

UPEI plans to expand research 

In addition to determining whether standing desks actually keep…

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