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WORK & MOVE leads to more variation between standing up and sitting down

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Can people be nudged with a software program that reminds them when it is time to stand up or sit down again? Texas A&M University researched the issue and the results reveal that employees can be most effectively motivated to use – and keep using – their sit-stand desk when they receive constant notifications from the WORK & MOVE SitStandCOACH*. 

At the time of the research, WORK & MOVE was still known as SitStandCOACH. Since then, WORK & MOVE has been further expanded to become a personal coach that provides sufficient variation between focused computer usage and mental and physical exercise. The software provides insight into and feedback on your computer usage. Based on your personal needs, the software recommends an optimal work-exercise routine and helps you implement it into your daily life. SitStandCOACH is a standard component of the WORK & MOVE employee ellbeing software. 

Are sit-stand desks used optimally?
Sit-stand desks are all the rage in today’s office environments. They are said to motivate employees to switch up their posture while they work and keep them from sitting still for hours on end. The sit-stand desks are therefore mainly used to combat sedentary behaviour and improve employees’ health. However, using a sit-stand desk correctly is a challenge. How many employees continue to (properly) use their desk once the novelty has worn off? Can computer software be used to stimulate correct usage of a sit-stand desk? That is exactly what the American university researched with the help of the WORK & MOVE SitStandCOACH software. The research took a total of 4.5 months. After a six-week baseline measurement, the study of the effects of WORK & MOVE kicked off. The research was conducted at two geographical locations in the US with a control group of 71 employees and an experimental group of 97 employees (Chevron).

The study shows that the WORK & MOVE software stimulates the use of the sit-stand desk (72%).

229% more postural variability
The members of the experimental group who received tips via the software developed by BakkerElkhuizen switched between sitting down and standing up more frequently than the members of the control group, who received no such nudges. Both groups used the WORK & MOVE SitStandCOACH software, but the control group did not receive any coaching on when to stand and when to sit. On average, the members of the experimental group switched up their posture 229% more often than the employees who received no notifications, while 40% of the experimental group switched between standing up and sitting down in accordance with the "optimal exercise" sit-stand profile of the WORK & MOVE software.

John van Hooft, CEO of BakkerElkhuizen, says the following about the research results: "We knew that our WORK & MOVE software would stimulate users to make optimal use of their sit-stand desk. It is great to have our hypothesis fully supported by scientific research. Our software demonstrably contributes to the mental and physical fitness of knowledge workers. We believe in a preventative and organisation-wide approach. By focusing on people and work, you can safeguard lasting sustainable deployability, vitality and wellbeing for em ployee and employer alike. With our practical and scalable solutions, we enable organisations to achieve sustainable peak performances."

45% of the participants had their mental awareness raised by the software and began to stand up more frequently. 

The effects of switching between sitting down and standing up
These findings indicate that the smart WORK & MOVE nudges can indeed be used to motivate employees to change their behaviour when it comes to standing and sitting. The effects? The experimental group indicated that they experienced a significant reduction of physical discomfort, were more focused and felt less tired. The trick is not to stand up for much longer, but to switch between sitting and standing more frequently.

The software helps combat feelings of fatigue by having users alternate between sitting down and standing up.

Survey data from the members of the experimental group show that ~71% thought that the WORK & MOVE instructions helped them use their sit-stand desk correctly and made for an easier transition from sitting to standing and from a sitting to a standing workspace, ~83% believed that the software had increased their overall time spent standing up and ~45% said that WORK & MOVE had improved their mental awareness by making them stand up more frequently. Lastly, nearly 75% of the respondents in the experimental group indicated that they wished to continue using the WORK & MOVE software after the research was over.

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