Two ways to increase physical activity in the office

Two studies point to the benefits of standing desks and walking meetings to boost productivity and increase physical activity in the office.

One study at the University of Miami showed that office workers who replaced one sitting meeting with a walking meeting  gained an extra 10 minutes of physical activity per week. Although the study was small, it had a lot of support from participants and hinted at the potential for a cultural shift from a predominantly seated work environment to one where moving is encouraged.

Another study looked at how productivity was affected by standing desks. Productivity, as measured by the number of successful calls in a call center, increased over the course of the study. Employees using standing desks made 53% more successful calls than those who were seated. While using a standing desk is not the same as going for a walk, it does reduce the amount of time spent sitting, which has been linked to high blood pressure and poor heart health.

Office workers lobbying for a healthier, more active work environment now have a little bit more research to support a change in how they work.

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June J. Pilcher

We have a published a recent study at Clemson University (see media release: looking at the effects of using a cycling work station (FitDesk). The study shows a positive link between mood and motivation and physical activity but did not distract from work performance. The study is published in Frontiers in Psychology (

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