Scientific Research

The science of sitting and standing

Studies find a strong correlation between long periods of sitting and elevated risk of illness or injury. Experts call this “sitting disease.”

Key Findings

  • Workers who used sit-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day than those who used regular workstations, according to a Stanford University back pain study.
  • A 2015 study published in the Oxford Journal of Public Health shows that sit-to-stand desks in classrooms appear to be an effective way of reducing sedentary behavior (prolonged sitting) in a diverse sample of children.
  • At their 2013 annual meeting, the American Medical Association adopted policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to make available alternatives to sitting, such as sit-stand desks.
  • A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improve.

Featured Studies

Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing Desk Intervention Garret G, Benden M, Mehta P, Pickens A, Peres C, Zhao H office standing desks IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics - site 2016
Associations of total amount and patterns of sedentary behaviour with diabetes and metabolic syndrome: The Maastricht Study van der Berg, Stehouwer CD, Bosma H, van der Velde, Willems PJ, Savelberg HH, et al non-specific accelerometer Diabetologia - site 2016
Classroom Standing Desks & Sedentary Behavior: A Systematic Review Minges KE, Chao AM, Irwin ML, Owen N, Park C, Whittemore R, Salmo J classroom standing desks America Academy of Pediatrics - site 2016
Impact of a Sit-Stand Workstation on Chronic Low Back Pain Ognibene GT, Torres W, von Eyben R, Horst KC office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine - site 2016
Standing Up for Learning: Pilot Investigation on Neurocognitive Benefits of Stand-Biased Desks Mehta RK, Shortz AE, Benden ME classroom standing desks International Journal of Environmental Research Public Health - site 2015
Reducing Children’s Classroom Sitting Time Using Sit-to-Stand Desks - PDF Clemes SA, Barber SE, Bingham DD, Ridgers ND, Fletcher E, Pearson N, Salmon J, Dunstan DW classroom sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Oxford Journal of Public Health - site 2015
Patterns and Sustainability of Sit-Stand Workstation Use in a Typical Office Workplace - PDF Mair JL, Nugent C, Cleland I, Schmitz C, Murphy MH office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) 2015
Sit, Stand, Learn: Using Workplace Wellness Sit-Stand Results to Improve Student Behavior and Learning Katz A, Mulder B, Pronk N classroom sit-stand desks (WorkFit) American College of Sports Medicine: Health & Fitness Journal - site 2015
Impact of a Stand-Biased Desk on Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity for Elementary Students Benden ME, Zhao H, Jeffrey CE, Wendel ML, Blake JJ classroom standing desks Int’l Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health - site 2014
Using Sit-Stand Workstations to Decrease Sedentary Time in Office Workers - PDF Dutta N, Koepp GA, Stovitz SD, Levine JA, Pereira MA office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Int’l Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health - site 2014
Avoiding Sedentary Behavior Might Lengthen Telomeres: Secondary Outcomes from Physical Activity in Older People Sjögren P, Fisher R, Kallings L, Svenson U, Roos G, Hellénius ML non-specific activity schedule British Journal of Sports Medicine - site 2014
Iterative Development of Stand Up Australia: Multi-component Intervention to Reduce Workplace Sitting Neuhaus M, Healy GN, Fjeldsoe BS, Lawler S, Owen N, Dunstan DW, LaMontagne AD, Eakin EG office sit-stand desks (WorkFit), training Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity - site 2014
Workplace Sitting and Height-Adjustable Workstations, A Randomized Controlled Trial - PDF Neuhaus M, Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Owen N, Eakin EG office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) American Journal of Preventive Medicine - site 2014
The Effects of a Non-Sedentary Workspace on Information Elaboration and Group Performance Knight AP, Baer M classroom chairs removed SAGE Journals - site 2014
Cardiovascular and Metabolic Benefits of Standing Desk Work - PDF Buckley J, Morris M, Mellor D, Joseph F office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Occupational & Environmental Medicine - site 2013
Reducing Sitting Time in Office Workers: Short-Term Efficacy of a Multicomponent Intervention - PDF Healy GN, Eakin EG, Lamontagne AD, Owen N, EA Winkler, Wiesner G, Gunning L, Neuhaus M, Lawler S, Fjeldsoe BS, Dunstan DW office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Preventative Medicine - site 2013
Minimal Intensity Physical Activity Improves Insulin Action and Plasma Lipids More than Shorter Periods of Exercise in Sedentary Subjects Duvivier B, Schaper NC, Bremers MA, van Crombrugge G, Menheere P, Kars M, Savelberg H non-specific activity schedule PLOS one - site 2013
Using Stand/Sit Workstations in Classrooms: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study Blake JJ, Benden ME, Wendel ML classroom sit-stand desks Journal of Public Health Management & Practice - site 2012
Sit-Stand Workstations: A Pilot Intervention to Reduce Office Sitting Time Alkihajah TA, Reeves MM, Eakin EG, Winkler EA, Owen N, Healy GN office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) American Journal of Preventative Medicine - site 2012
Patterns of Objectively Measured Prolonged Sedentary Time and Physical Activity at Work - PDF Thorp AA, Healy GN, Clark BK, Gardiner PA, Winkler EA, Owen N, Dunstan DW office accelerometer 2012
The Impact of Stand-Biased Desks in Classrooms on Calorie Expenditure in Children Benden ME, Blake JJ, Wendel ML, Huber JC classroom sit-stand desks American Journal of Public Health - site 2011
Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health - PDF Pronk NP, Katz AS, Lowry M, Payfer JR office sit-stand desks (WorkFit) Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - site 2011
Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults Patel AV, Bernstein L, Deka A, Spencer Feigelson H, Campbell PT, Gapstur SM, Colditz GA, Thun MJ home n/a American Journal of Epidemiology - site 2010
Feasibility of Reducing Sedentary Time in Office Workers - PDF Gardiner PA, Healy GN, Robinson C, Winkler EA, Clark BK, Eakin EG, Owen N, Dunstan DW office training 2010
Accelerometer-measured occupational sedentary time in Australian workers - PDF Thorp AA, Owen N, Healy GN, Winkler EA, Gardiner PA, Clark BK, Dunstan DW office accelerometer 2010
Television Viewing Time and Sitting Time: are they similarly associated with biomarkers of cardio-metabolic risk? - PDF Thorp AA, Owen N, Healy GN, Clark BK, Salmon J, Ball K, Shaw JE, Zimmet PZ, Dunstan DW home n/a American Diabetes Association - site 2009
Too little exercise and too much sitting: Inactivity physiology and the need for new recommendations on sedentary behavior Hamilton MT, Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Zderic TW, Owen N non-specific n/a Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports - site 2008
Find more research relating to the science of sedentary behavior and worker health as used as references for our What if... video.


White papers & summaries

  1. Ergotron JustStand Index @
  2. Expert Statement on Prolonged Sitting PDF from Public Health England & Active Working
  3. White Paper: Stand Up and Innovate PDF from Nick Webb, Lassen Scientific, Inc.
  4. White Paper: Standing Up for Wellness in the Workplace PDF from
  5. Regional Statistics of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes PDF from
  6. Survey: 2 of 3 Workers Want “Sit or Stand” Choice @
  7. Burn Calories at Work Flyer PDF from
  8. E-Book: Body Coach – Listen to Your Wise Self PDF from

Wellness Summit

JustStand Wellness Summit

The JustStand Wellness Summit is an annual event dedicated to sharing perspectives about the science of sedentary behavior and creating healthy work environments. Thought-leaders and researchers from around the world come to share ideas and findings.

View Presentations:

2012 Summit | 2013 Summit

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