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Prev Med. 2012 Jan;54(1):65-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.012. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Does the use of standing 'hot' desks change sedentary work time in an open plan office?

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  • 1The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane 4072, Australia.



This study assessed the use of standing 'hot' desks in an open plan office and their impact on sedentary work time.


Australian employees (n=11; 46.9 [9.8] years; BMI 25.9 [3.5 kg/m(2)]) wore an armband accelerometer for two consecutive working weeks (November-December 2010). In the second week, employees were encouraged to use a pod of four standing 'hot' desks to stand and work as often as possible. Desk use was recorded using time logs. The percentages of daily work time spent in sedentary (<1.6 METs), light (1.6-3.0 METs) and moderate+ (>3 METs) intensity categories were calculated for each week, relative to the total daily time at work. Paired sample t tests were used to compare weekly differences.


Employees spent 8:09 ± 0:31h/day at work and 'hot' desk use ranged from zero to 9:35 h for the week. There were no significant changes in mean time spent in sedentary (difference of -0.1%), light (difference of 0.8%) and moderate+ (-0.7%) intensity categories. However, individual changes in sedentary work time ranged from -5.9 to 6.4%.


Volitional use of standing 'hot' desks varied and while individual changes were apparent, desk use did not alter overall sedentary work time in this sample.

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