The standing study : participant experience and acceptability of using a standing desk

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Robb, Sheehan
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Niven, Elizabeth
Hutchinson, James
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
qualitative research
acceptability of using standing desks
experience of using standing desks
standing desks
sit-stand desks
Robb, S. (2014). The standing study: Participant experience and acceptability of using a standing desk. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Background: Sedentary behaviour (including prolonged sitting) is associated with increase in common chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. Due to the prevalence, and risks, of prolonged siting for office workers standing desks have been proposed as strategy to reduce sedentary time in the work place. Objective: This study aimed to identify and understand perceptual and subjective factors pertaining to the experience and acceptability of adapting to and working from a standing desk. Method: This generic qualitative study was part of a two armed study which collectively measured biological blood marker changes throughout the 16 week trial and how the desks were perceived, used, and accepted by the participants. Participants (n=6) were recruited via online media. They were selected for their age (25-40), weight, hip-waist ratio, and BMI measurements. Three semi- structured interviews were conducted at weeks 1-2, 14-16, and 21-22 of the trial. Data analysis generated themes and subthemes. Results:. Theme one: The physical, mental, and environmental experience of using a standing desk encompassed perceived improvement in physical, mental, and environment experience and reveals a process of adjustment. Physical improvements included energy and vitality, increased tolerance to standing, posture and decrease in discomfort with standing. Mental improvements include enhanced emotional experience, improved tolerance to stress, and feeling proactive about health, along with improved self-awareness, cognitive function and productivity. Improved perception of office environment included aspects of/due to perceived interaction with others and improved work station set- up. There was a process of adjustment which involved and adjustment period, initial discomfort, (other subthemes included too much too soon and standing full time) Theme two: Conclusion judgements, and acceptability: sitting and standing in an office environment. There were changes to the participants perception of sitting and it was identified that there were many reasons not to sit It was identified that there was a need to alternate sitting and standing. There was a high acceptability and affinity for using the standing desk as all participants wanted to continue to use the standing desk. Conclusion: The experience of using a standing desk resulted in a strong acceptability for its use in the work place in this group of participants.
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