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Research & Evidence: Physical Activity

Office workers are an ideal target population to reduce sedentary time for desk-based jobs.
A quantitative evaluation of electric sit-stand desk usage: 3-month in-situ workplace study
Pankaj Parag Sharma, Mark Benden, Ranjana K. Mehta, Adam Pickens & Gang Han
IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors

2019

Campbell, Kristin; Kerri M. Winters-Stone; Joachim Wiskemann; Anne M. May; Anna L. Schwartz; Kerry S. Courneya; David S. Zucker; Charles E. Matthews; Jennifer A. Ligibel; Lynn H. Gerber; Stephen G. Morris; Alpa V. Patel; Trisha F. Hue; Frank M. Perna; Kat. "Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 2019.

In the last decade, the United States has seen a 27% decline in cancer deaths due to early detection and improved treatments for cancer. In turn, the number of cancer survivors is growing, with over 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States—a figure that is expected to double by 2040 (1). Improved prognosis has created a growing need to address the unique health issues facing cancer survivors that result from the disease, its treatment, and related comorbid conditions. For example, the symptom of fatigue can persist in 25% of cancer survivors many years after their treatment has ended and contributes to difficulty returning to work, independent living, and poor quality of life (2). Furthermore, risk of developing heart disease may be elevated by some cancer treatments, and cardiovascular mortality is emerging as a major competing cause of death in cancer survivors along with cancer recurrence (3,4). Cancer is also a disease strongly linked with aging, and almost half of survivors are older than 70 yr (5). The adverse synergistic effects of age, cancer treatment, and related sequelae increase the total burden of cancer. Historically, clinicians advised cancer patients to rest and to avoid physical activity, but early exercise research in the 1990s and 2000s challenged this advice.

Patel, Alpa V.; Christine M. Friedenreich; Steven C. Moore; Sandra C. Hayes; Julie K. Silver; Kristin L. Campbell; Kerri Winters-Stone; Lynn H. Gerber; Stephanie M. George; Janet E. Fulton; Crystal Denlinger; Stephen G. Morris; Trisha Hue. "American College of Sports medicine roundtable report on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cancer prevention and control." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 2019.

It was estimated that 18.1 million individuals were diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and 9.6 million individuals died from the disease—making cancer the second leading cause of mortality worldwide (1). In the United States (US) alone, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is 40% in men and 38% in women (2), and 1.74 million individuals were diagnosed with cancer in 2018 (3). There are also high direct and indirect costs related to the cancer burden; for example, in the US alone, the annual cost of cancer care is US $158 billion (4), with billions of additional dollars lost to disability, lost work, and lost household productivity (5). Thus, the burden of cancer remains a significant public health issue worldwide, and there is an increasing need to understand how modifiable health behaviors like physical activity may help prevent and control cancer in the population.

Schmitz PhD, MPH, Kathryn; Anna M. Campbell PhD; Martijn M. Stuiver PT, PhD; Bernardine M. Pinto PhD; Anna L. Schwartz PhD; G. Stephen Morris PT, PhD; Jennifer A. Ligibel MD; Andrea Cheville MD; Daniel A. Galvão PhD; Catherine M. Alfano PhD. "Exercise is medicine in oncology: Engaging clinicians to help patients move through cancer." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, October 16, 2019.

Multiple US and international organizations have published exercise recommendations for patients living with and beyond cancer, including the American Cancer Society (ACS),1 the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),2 Exercise and Sports Science Australia,3 Cancer Care Ontario,4 and the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.5 In March 2018, the ACSM convened a Second Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control. This second Roundtable included 17 organizations from multiple disciplines (see Supporting Table 1) and set out to review and update prior recommendations on cancer prevention and control. The products of this Roundtable include 3 articles.

2018

Pankaj Parag Sharma, Mark Benden, Ranjana K. Mehta, Adam Pickens & Gang Han . "A quantitative evaluation of electric sit-stand desk usage: 3-month in-situ workplace study." IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, September 13, 2018.

Sit-stand desk interventions are deployed to reduce sedentary time and improve ergonomic adjustability in modern workplaces, with ultimate goals of improving health and productivity. Sit-stand desks, however, require workers to take an active role in changing the desk position, and usage compliance of the sit-stand function has been a challenge. This study used computer software to objectively record continuous data on electric sit-stand desk usage during computer use, to understand current desk usage behaviors in a large office environment involving ∼300 workers for 3 months. We found that workers completed roughly one desk position change per work day, and one-fourth of the workers always had the desk in a seated position (during computer use). The methods used here demonstrate a novel approach to record sit-stand desk usage continuously during active computer use.

2016

Berko, Jeff MPH; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Roemer, Enid Chung PhD; Kent, Karen MPH; Marchibroda, Janet MBA. "Results From the Bipartisan Policy Center's CEO Council Physical Activity Challenge to American Business." Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, December 2016.

Physical inactivity is a major public health threat: inactive adults are at an elevated risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Despite these dire consequences, fewer than half of American adults meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity. Sedentary jobs contribute to this problem, but the workplace also presents an opportunity for intervention. 

Bergouignan, Audrey , Kristina T. Legget, Nathan De Jong, Elizabeth Kealey, Janet Nikolovski, Jack L. Groppel, Chris Jordan, Raphaela O’Day, James O. Hill and Daniel H. Bessesen. "Effect of frequent interruptions of prolonged sitting on self-perceived levels of energy, mood, food cravings and cognitive function." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, November 3, 2016.

While physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and well-being, office workers are essentially sedentary. We compared the effects of physical activity performed as (i) one bout in the morning or (ii) as microbouts spread out across the day to (iii) a day spent sitting, on mood and energy levels and cognitive function.

Moore, PhD, Steven C. MPH; I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD; Elisabete Weiderpass, PhD; et al. "Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults." Journal of the American Medical Association , June 2016.

Importance  Leisure-time physical activity has been associated with lower risk of heart-disease and all-cause mortality, but its association with risk of cancer is not well understood.

Objective  To determine the association of leisure-time physical activity with incidence of common types of cancer and whether associations vary by body size and/or smoking.

Steven C. Moore, PhD, MPH; I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD; Elisabete Weiderpass, PhD; et al. "Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults." Journal of the American Medical Association , June 2016.

Importance  Leisure-time physical activity has been associated with lower risk of heart-disease and all-cause mortality, but its association with risk of cancer is not well understood.

Objective  To determine the association of leisure-time physical activity with incidence of common types of cancer and whether associations vary by body size and/or smoking.