We are delighted to be involved with Virgin Media and the University of Chester in this ground-breaking study on one of the most important health-related subjects of our times.
Posturite is facilitating a year-long study into the impact that standing at work for a minimum of two hours every day has on health, wellbeing and productivity. Twenty-four call centre workers at Virgin Media in Attercliffe, Sheffield, have been provided with our height adjustable VARIDESK that allows users to switch from a sitting to a standing position, and vice versa, in seconds.
All the people taking part – the longest scientific study yet carried out into the health benefits of sit-stand desks – will have their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight and overall fitness measured at the beginning and end of the experiment to see if there have been any improvements.
Two groups of workers at the call centre – where 900 people are employed – have volunteered to use the VARIDESKs and stay on their feet for at least two hours each day. The first group will use the adjustable height desks for six months, and the second group (the cross-over control group) for the next six months. Previous short-term studies have calculated that a person could burn around 30,000 extra calories per year, which equates to half a stone of fat (8lbs), simply by standing for two to three hours a day.
Virgin Media will use the results to inform future decisions about ways of working and the physical workplace environment across the whole company. Prof John Buckley, Professor of Applied Exercise Science at the University of Chester, will lead the research team investigating the impact that a less sedentary working environment has on health, wellbeing and productivity.
He said: “We know that sitting down for extended periods of time increases chances of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, some cancers and maybe even mental illnesses. The simple act of standing for even as little as two hours per day can increase muscle activity to have a significant impact on health and wellbeing.
"This unprecedented study with Virgin Media will allow us gain a more comprehensive understanding of the benefits working on your feet can have on health and performance.
Geoff Thompson, Posturite sales director, added: “We are delighted to be involved with Virgin Media and the University of Chester in this ground-breaking study on one of the most important health-related subjects of our times.
“Previous studies carried out in different parts of the world have shown a clear link between excessive sitting and serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. This experiment will hopefully allow us all to see the benefits that working standing up for at least two hours each day can have not only on a person’s health but also on their productivity.”
Maurice Daw, chief people officer for Virgin Media, said: “We are always looking for new ways to improve our people’s health and wellbeing. The results of previous studies are impressive and we are looking forward to working with the University of Chester to explore the longer term benefits achieved from this way of working.”