Does active sitting provide more physiological and biomechanical benefits than traditional sitting and standing workstations?

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University of New Brunswick


This cross-sectional study examined the biomechanical and physiological effects of two active chairs compared to a traditional office chair and standing workstation. Twenty-four healthy participants computed at each of the workstations for 60-minutes. The active protocol was to alternate between a pedaling/side-to-side motion and sliding forward/front-to-back motion to the sound of a metronome operating at 40 bpm. The participants’ biomechanical and physiological effects were recorded using electromyography; Motion Capture System; near Infrared Spectroscopy; pressure mats; galvanic skin receptor; heart rate monitor; and subjective discomfort data (rate of perceived discomfort) for each collection period. Statistical analysis was conducted using a repeated measures analysis of variance for within-task and between-workstation comparisons. A Tukey’s post hoc analysis was calculated for any significant findings. This study demonstrated that the active protocol had positive effects on the body such as increased oxygenated blood and neuromuscular activity in the gastrocnemius, and a more open trunk-thigh angle.