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Office Workstation Type Linked to Physical Activity, Stress

FRIDAY, Aug. 24, 2018 -- Workers in open bench seating office workstations are more active and have lower perceived stress at the office, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Casey M. Lindberg, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues conducted a wearable, sensor-based observational study of 231 workers in four office buildings to examine the correlation between office workstation type with objective measures of physical activity and stress.

The researchers found that workers in open bench seating were more active at the office than those in private offices and cubicles (on average, 31.83 and 20.16 percent higher, respectively). Compared with those in cubicles, workers in open bench seating experienced lower perceived stress at the office (on average, 9.10 percent lower). There was a correlation noted for higher physical activity at the office with lower physiological stress outside the office (14.18 percent higher heart rate variability in the time domain).

"Office workstation type was related to enhanced physical activity and reduced physiological and perceived stress," the authors write. "This research highlights how office design, driven by office workstation type, could be a health-promoting factor."

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Posted: August 2018