The health-promoting potential of replacing sitting with standing time in the office-based occupational environment: cardio-metabolic, biomechanical, and behavioural effects


The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of increasing standing time on cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal disease in office workers.


Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis

Research Location

Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group

Program Type



The majority of occupations in Australia are largely sedentary and work time is the largest component of overall daily sitting. Emerging epidemiological research shows that sitting time may be an independent contributor to cardiovascular and metabolic disease and premature mortality. A very small number of epidemiological and laboratory studies suggest that simply replacing sitting with standing may confer important health benefits. However, this evidence is inconsistent, inconclusive, not specific to the office work environment, and does not address the behavioural implications during after-work hours, such as compensatory increases in leisure-time sitting. Further, evidence on the musculoskeletal implications of standing interventions is scarce. Despite this insufficient and inconsistent evidence, in recent years, interventions replacing sitting with standing using e.g. stand-up workstations in offices are often implemented for cardio-metabolic and musculoskeletal health benefits.

Additional Information

The specific research student project will be discussed with interested candidates and there will be opportunities to tailor the objectives to their specific interests. The broader project aims are to investigate the cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal effects of increasing standing in real office environments and to examine the influence of increased standing in the workplace on mood and fatigue during and after work. The proposed objectives are to:
-Examine the acceptability of different sitting-standing protocols and alternative sitting modes (e.g. sitting on a Swiss ball)
-Investigate the effect of increasing standing time during work on cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers and energy expenditure
- Investigate the effect of increasing standing time during work on trunk biomechanics and muscle activity
-Investigate the effect of increasing standing time during work on after-work hours sedentary behaviour, physical activity, mood and feelings of fatigue

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sitting, standing, ergonomics, work interventions, Biomechanics, Heart disease, healthy work environment, Musculoskeletal, office, physical activity, sit-stand desks, accelerometry, sedentary behaviour, cardiovascular, metabolic, diabetes, cardiometabolic, behaviour change, Interventions, occupational health, risk factors, prevention, preventive, chronic disease, adults, workforce, exercise

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1886

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