University student perceptions of using alternative workstations while studying


Students almost exclusively sit while studying, which translates to large amounts of forced sedentary behaviour and this in turn may have negative health consequences. The perceptions university students have of using alternative postures while studying remains unknown. This study investigated the quantitative and qualitative perceptions of university students in using alternative workstations (standing, sit-stand, and dynamic sitting) while studying. University students (N=1005) completed a mixed-method online survey assessing their perceptions of using alternative workstations while studying. A large portion of students believed standing, sit-stand, dynamic sitting options should be available for students while studying. A majority of the students also stated that they would use these options if they were available for studying. Qualitative themes included overall perception (supportive, undecided, and opposed), personal factors (performance and health/ injury) that acted as facilitators and barriers, and environmental factors (depends on the day, depends on the location/ availability, depends on the social norm, depends on the time/ task). These factors must be considered when designing interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour or when implementing alternative workstations. Hence, at this early stage of inquiry there is no evidence to recommend against providing dynamic sitting, sit-stand and standing options in university libraries.