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News November 27, 2018

Case study shows motivational effects of sit-stand reminder tools

A case study conducted by the German ‘Institut für Gesundheit und Ergonomie’ (IGR) proves that reminder tools in height-adjustable office desks motivate workers to change posture more regularly.

Case study shows motivational effects of sit-stand reminder tools

Can you motivate people to use their electric height-adjustable desks more and get the full set of benefits from this – increased work efficiency and better health? The answer is short: Yes, you can!

In a case study initiated by LINAK® and conducted by the German ‘Institut für Gesundheit und Ergonomie’ (IGR), 40 employees at the software company Diamant Software GmbH participated to test the effect of sit-stand reminder tools from LINAK.  While all participants were familiar with electric sit-stand desks at work, most of them rarely used them.  

Different reminder tools for office desks were tested
To see if reminders could motivate office workers to stand up, the participants were split up into two groups. One half was provided with a ‘sit-stand reminder kit’ comprising the buttonless Desk Panel DPG with an integrated light strip reminder, the Desk Control™ app, and Desk Control™ software – the latter two reminding users via a notification on their mobile device or desk PC screen. The other half continued to work with their standard sit-stand work desk without using any reminder tools. 

Reminders help acquire healthy sit-stand habits 
The case study results show that reminding office workers to change posture actually helps. Via the control box, it is possible to track the usage frequency of the sit-stand function in each office desk before, during and after the three-month study period. The surprisingly consistent results showed that the test group provided with the ‘sit-stand reminder kit’ increased usage of their sit-stand desk function by 74%. The same test group also reported that they increased their daily standing time at work by 62%. 

Although a three-month study is not sufficient time to establish the long-lasting effects of sit-stand reminders, it has demonstrated a motivational effect, prompting active sit-stand behavior among employees in the test group. 

Comfort and habit noted as worst barriers for standing
For the participating company, Diamant Software GmbH, the challenge was to get their employees to use the electric height-adjustment function in their desks. Prior to the study, ‘comfort’ and ‘forgetfulness’ were mentioned as the two major reasons given by participants at Diamant Software, when asked why they did not use the adjustment feature.  
‘Before an inner voice told me: “I do not want to stand up, I would rather sit and hang around in my chair.” That has changed significantly,’ Klaus Artmeyer, an employee in Sales, said in the study. 

These results comply with the results of previously published white paper research conducted by the Danish behavioral science agency, KL.7. In its report ‘Making office workers healthier: In a public health intervention making office workers use their height-adjustable office desks more’, KL.7 also finds that reminders motivate office workers to adopt healthier sit-stand behavior. 
If you want to learn more about the motivational effects of reminders in modern sit-stand desks, you can download the IGR case study and the KL.7 white papers at our Tech & Trends site on reminders


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