Sit-stand desks

Sit less, move more

There is considerable evidence which suggests that prolonged sedentary behaviours such as sitting are detrimental to health and may increase the risk of chronic illness and disease such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even if an individual exercises regularly.

Given this, the National Heart Foundation have found there are many benefits of sitting less and moving more, including reduced risk of chronic illness and disease, reduced risk of musculoskeletal injuries, improved weight management and increased productivity and energy levels.

Considerations to reduce sedentary behaviour

The University acknowledges the impact of sedentary behaviour on the health of its employees and has provided the following information to assist you in identifying what you can do at home, work and while you travel to reduce your sitting time.

At home

  • get off the couch and walk around the house during commercial breaks
  • do household chores such as folding clothes or ironing while watching television
  • stand to read the morning paper
  • wash your car by hand rather than using a drive-through car cash
  • move around the house when checking text messages and email on our mobile device
  • exercise regularly.  The Heart Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (ie walking, cycling, swimming or jogging) be completed on most days.

At work

  • stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes
  • take breaks in sitting time in long meetings
  • stand to greet a visitor to your workplace
  • use the stairs
  • walk to your colleagues' desk instead of phoning or emailing
  • drink more water - going to the water cooler and rest rooms will break up sitting time
  • move your bin away from your desk so you have to get up to put something in it
  • have standing or walking meetings
  • stand at the back of the room during presentations

While travelling

  • leave your car at home and take public transport so you walk to and from stops/stations
  • walk or cycle at least part way to your destination
  • park your car further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way
  • plan regular breaks during long car trips
  • on public transport, stand rather than sit
  • get on/off public transport one stop/station earlier

For more information on what the University can offer you in terms of physical health and wellbeing, visit our Health and Wellbeing website.

Criteria for Ordering a sit/stand desk

There are a number of steps which need to be completed prior to ordering a sit-stand workstation.

  1. Discuss with your supervisor or manager the suitability of a sit-stand workstation
  2. Organise a workstation ergonomic assessment with a WHS team member by completing the Ergonomic Request Form. This assessment will:  (a) assess an individuals current workstation set-up, job demands and the impact of any medical condition on work capacity;  (b) make recommendations in an assessment report for any modifications to work techniques, workstation set-up or ergonomic equipment.  In some circumstances, a stand sit workstation may aggravate a pre-existing injury or medical condition.
  3. Provide a certificate from a health care practitioner recommending the use of a sit-stand workstation.  This certificate is to be sent to whs@westernsydney.edu.au
  4. Once reviewed, the ergonomics assessment report will be sent to the employee and supervisor/manager with a list of recommendations such as a sit-stand desk, anti-fatigue mat, etc.
  5. Discuss recommendations with your supervisor or manager, as procurement will depend on individual departments available funding.  Work Health & Safety can provide advice as required.
  6. Organise a follow-up ergonomic assessment once recommendations have been implemented to ensure correct use and position of new equipment.

Note:  The same process is required for the use of privately purchased sit-stand desks.

In addition to the above, if you have a pre-existing (non-work related) medical condition you may contact the Equity and Diversity Unit for further assistance prior to the purchase of a sit-stand desk.

Procurement of Sit-stand Worksation

Procurement of all sit-stand workstations, including desktop attacthment variations, must be completed through the Office of Estate and Commercial. Contact Gloria Pan on extension 1698.