Desk Job: It’s not just about sitting too much, but it’s also about the way you sit throughout the day, said Madison Hiemstra, research coordinator at Western University in Ontario, Canada.
Updated Sep 21, 2023 | 04:53 PM IST
Desk Job: Sitting continuously for work in office is harmful for health.
More worrying is the fact that the number of remote workers has been increasing since the coronavirus pandemic, and they may be more sedentary than their office counterparts. It’s not just about sitting too much, it’s also about the way you sit throughout the day, said research coordinator Madison Hiemstra of Western University in Ontario, Canada. Hiemstra said prolonged sitting can increase the risk of negative health outcomes.
The study published in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine explored when and how to take a break. The participants were divided into two separate groups, those who were given the freedom to choose their preferred strategies for reducing sitting time (the ‘choice’ group) and those who were assigned strategies without any choice (the ‘no’ group). ‘No option’ group). In the ‘choice’ group, participants could select strategies themselves from a list of options or have strategies recommended by experts assigned to them.
In contrast, the ‘no choice’ group had no say in the matter and were tasked with randomly choosing their strategy or following the expert’s recommendations. For four weeks, participants were monitored for the total time they spent sitting, standing, and walking, as well as the frequency and duration of their breaks from sitting. The intended purpose was to motivate participants to take short breaks every 30 to 45 minutes, with each break lasting two to three minutes.
The study findings showed that participants in both groups demonstrated an increase in break frequency and a similar reduction in total sitting time over the course of the study. This positive trend has the effect of countering the harmful effects of sitting for long periods of time. Particularly notable was the ‘no choice’ group, who not only increased the frequency of their breaks from sitting, but also increased the duration of their breaks. This result shows how people can adapt to breaking strategies and profit from them.
The study states that long breaks are not necessary to achieve significant health improvements. Instead, the emphasis is on shorter breaks to strike an ideal balance while promoting better health outcomes.