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Active workstations may boost cognitive performance, overall health: Study

IANS Apr 05, 2024

Active workstations containing a walking pad, bike, stepper or standing desk are successful strategies for lowering sedentary time and improving mental cognition at work without reducing job performance, a new study suggested on 4 April.

According to the Mayo Clinic study published in the journal of the American Heart Association, extended sedentary behaviour, whether at work or home, increases a person's risk of preventable chronic diseases.

"Active workstations may offer a way to potentially improve cognitive performance and overall health, simply by moving at work," said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study.

The study involved 44 participants in a randomised clinical trial where four office settings were assessed over four consecutive days.

Researchers analysed participants' neurocognitive function based on 11 assessments that evaluated reasoning, short-term memory and concentration. Fine motor skills were evaluated through an online typing speed test and other tests.

"Being sedentary is the new smoking when it comes to your cardiovascular health, and office workers may spend a large part of their eight-hour workday sitting at a computer screen and keyboard," said Lopez-Jimenez.

As per the study, when participants used the active workstations, their brain function either improved or stayed the same, and their typing speed slowed down only a bit. However, the accuracy of their typing was not affected.

"These findings indicate that there are more ways to do that work while remaining productive and mentally sharp," said the researcher.

The study revealed improved reasoning scores when standing, stepping and walking as compared to sitting.

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