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Desk workers want more opportunities to be active, study shows

Photo: mavoimages/iStockphoto

Cologne, Germany — Workers who spend most of their day sitting at a desk would prefer to be more active on the job, according to a recent study from the German Sport University Cologne.

Researchers surveyed 614 desk-based workers on how often they are sedentary at work. Participants reported spending an average of 73 percent of their workdays sitting but indicated they’d rather that amount was closer to 54 percent. In addition, the workers said they’d like the average 12.9 percent of the day they spend walking boosted to about 23 percent. They also want to increase the amount of time they stand (to 15.8 percent from the current 10.2 percent) and perform physically demanding tasks (to 7.7 percent from 3.9 percent).

Researchers concluded that future wellness programs should include stand-focused changes such as convertible desks, more walking and physical activities to better match workers’ desires.

“This is also supported by the greater improvement of cardio-metabolic risk factors through walking or light, moderate and vigorous [physical activity],” the researchers wrote. “Options that increase walking and [physical activity] during working hours are warranted and should be included as part of a range of strategies in workplace programs that aim to reduce sitting and increase [physical activity].”

The study was published online Nov. 17 in the journal BMC Research Notes.

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