SMArT Work: Stand More at Work

Background to the study

Research now suggests that high sedentary behaviour has significant deleterious effects on cardio-metabolic and musculoskeletal health, independent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).  Modern society provides many opportunities to sit and we have engineered much physical activity out of our lives. Previous generations sat less as they engaged in less TV viewing, no computer use, less car travel, and less work-related sitting. It is time to act.

Changing sitting time by providing an environment that makes sitting less likely and standing/moving easier could have significant health benefits while using strategies that could affect large numbers of people and with minimal effort or planning on the part of the individual. A good place to start this cultural shift is in the workplace as many jobs are desk-bound.

What does the study involve?

SMArT Work is a cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of providing height-adjustable workstations to allow workers to stand, as well as sit, while working on a computer depending on their preference. In addition, intervention clusters will receive other strategies that support a focus on sitting less and standing more, such as regular prompts and the ability to actively self-monitor their daily sitting time. The study will take place within the NHS workforce across 14 office clusters. Members of the workforce, including line managers, will be active participants in planning the study. We will assess, after 3, 6 and 12 months, whether the study resulted in increased standing time and improved employer health, what worked well or not so well, and what can be done better in the future to sustain changes in behaviour while meeting the needs of the workplace context.

Further Information

If you would like further information about this study please contact

Dr Sophie O’Connell or
Dr Charlotte Edwardson
Twitter: @SMArTLBoro