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Workplace study shows open plan settings improve health

21 August 2018

Results from a study of US government staff show that those working in open plan offices engage in more exercise and experience less stress than colleagues in other settings.

Compared with workers in private offices, those in open plan workplaces registered 32% more physical activity and 20% more than those who work in walled cubicles, according to The Guardian.

Wearable heart monitors issued to workers also showed that the most active workers were 14% less stressed than colleagues who were taking less exercise.

University of Arizona Institute on Place and Wellbeing director Esther Sternberg said: "In terms of impact on health, this increase in physical activity is important.

"It is well within the range that would have an impact on health," she said.

An article by Dr Sternberg and her colleagues was published by the Occupational & Environmental Medicine journal, The Guardian reported, describing their findings in a study of 230 US government workers.

Reference was also made to NHS advice by The Guardian report, recommending at least 150 minutes of exercise each week and the need to reduce the amount of time spent sitting.

It also referred to the term "excessive sitting" mentioned in previous studies and linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and reduced life expectancy.

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