Schedules of standing and sitting directed by musculoskeletal discomfort in workers transitioning to sit-stand workstations: a cross-sectional study

Kateryna Karpenko, Maureen McEvoy, Lucy K. Lewis, Katia Ferrar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sit-stand workstations are growing in popularity, however limited guidelines exist regarding optimal schedules of sitting and standing. This was the first known study to observe sit-stand workstation schedules when postural change is based on maintaining musculoskeletal discomfort within 'acceptable' levels. Fourteen healthy adults new to sit-stand workstations completed computer-based work at a sit-stand desk for half a workday. Participants changed between standing and sitting postures each time discomfort reached the maximum acceptable threshold. On average, the amount of standing and sitting was greatest in the first standing (median 40 minutes, interquartile range 40 minutes) and sitting (median 30 minutes, interquartile range 115 minutes) bouts. Average durations spent standing and sitting were lower in all consecutive bouts. Stand-sit ratios indicated an equal amount of standing to sitting or somewhat less standing. The schedules had substantial inter-participant variability. Future studies should consider that optimal schedules may vary with regard to time and be individual-specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-630
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Musculoskeletal discomfort
  • optimal sit-stand workstation schedule
  • sitting and standing durations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this