Workplace

Standing and Working (02-13-18)

Makkonen and colleagues studied how standing desks influenced the at-work experiences of employees at a software company.  They determined that, among the employees of the Finnish software company where they collected data, “the usage of standing instead of sitting workstations results in only modest promotions of physical activity, does not have an effect on mental alertness . . . decreases musculoskeletal strain in the neck and shoulders, although increasing it in the legs and feet.”  Using standing desks didn’t significantly affect employees’ satisfaction with their workstations.

Changing Rooms and Exercising (02-07-18)

When people have access to showers and changing rooms, are they more likely to ride a bicycle or walk to work?  A research team headed by Biswas analyzed data collected from over 53,000 people who answered questions on the 2007 – 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey, and determined that “Compared with younger ages, workers 50 to 75 years old were more likely to cycle to work if WS/CR [showers and changing rooms] were available.”  So, older individuals were more likely to ride their bicycles to work when WS/CR were available but people 49 years old or younger were not more likely to ride a

Designing Exercising for Personality (01-17-18)

New research indicates the best sorts of exercise opportunities to provide to employees and other groups.  A press release from the British Psychological Society, reporting on the work of John Hackston, states that “The effectiveness of someone’s exercise regime may depend on their individual personality type. . . . [data collected via surveys determined that] people with extraverted personality types were more likely to prefer exercising at the gym.

Lunchtime Park Walks and Relaxation Spaces: Good Ideas (12-14-17)

Having parks near workplaces where employees can walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime can be good for business—and so can creating an at-work space where people can do relaxation exercises.  A Sianola-lead team reports that “park walk . . . and relaxation . . . groups were asked to complete a 15-min exercise during their lunch break on 10 consecutive working days. Afternoon well-being. . . [was] assessed twice a week before, during, and after the intervention, altogether for 5 weeks. . . . park walks at lunchtime were related to better concentration and less fatigue in the afternoon. . . .

Experience, Personality and Noise (12-04-17)

Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise.  Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).”  The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.

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