Oct 29, 2014 01:42 PM EDT
Walking workstations could improve not only physical, but also mental health during the workday, according to a recent study.
Researchers from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) found that the walking workstations, regardless of a person's exercise habits or body mass index (BMI), had significant benefits. The study may encourage employers to examine methods to assist workers in in healthy living.
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"Even if you don't exercise or if you are overweight, you'll experience both short-term physical and psychological benefits," Michael Stilter, assistant professor of psychology, said in a statement.
For the study, researchers collected data from 180 participants. The volunteers were evaluated on boredom, task satisfaction, stress, arousal, and performance while completing work-related computer tasks across four randomly assigned workstations: seated, standing, cycling or walking.
They found that walking workstation participants had higher satisfaction and arousal, while experiencing less boredom and stress than the standing and sitting workstation participants. In comparison, the cycling workstation related to reduced satisfaction and performance.
Sliter plans to continue exploring the psychological benefits of walking workstations in future studies. Particularly, he is interested in examining long-term psychological and physical benefits of such workstations.
The findings appear online in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and in the January 2015 print edition.
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