500 GP's will adopt standing desks in their practise in a new trial designed to "set an example" of healthy living by delivering standing consultations.
The primary aim of the study is to determine if swapping to standing desks can improve GP's own health however a secondary aim is to inspire their patients to become more physically active.
Loughborough University are leading the trial the first phase of which will ask GPs to fill out a survey on their views of the issue before Doctors in the East and West Midlands adopt ActivPal devices.
The device will monitor the GPs standing/sitting ratio without a standing desk and then again once they adopt a standing desk into their offices.
GPs will then be invited to advise of their experience with a view to further expansion.
The move is likely to inspire conversations with patients about the standing desk culture and the innumerate benefits of standing over sitting at work. Professor Amanda Daley, of Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences believes the trial will encourage people to make their own positive changes.
"There’s a changing nature to general practice, with group consultations for diabetes, for example, and increased emphasis on physical activity. We want the standing desks to ultimately become part of the Active Practices charter." said Professor Daley who leads the study.
The RCGP is the professional membership body for family doctors in the UK and overseas. Professor Stokes-Lampard chair of the RCGP said;
"Standing consultations could be an effective way of having productive and beneficial conversations with some of our patients, particularly around ‘lifestyle’ issues and highlighting the need for us all to reduce our sitting time and move more."
She did also note that the interpersonal nature of conversations which are required of doctors would likely suffer if the Dr was stood and the patient wasn't. Certain GPs with patients who would be unable to stand might see fit not to adopt standing desks as it is well within the ethos of clinics not to make the patient uncomfortable in any way during the process. Obviously patients who are elderly, frail, pregnant, disabled or about to receive bad news, may prefer to be seated.
The trial comes off the back of the Colleges Active Practises campaign which is designed to boost the well-being of healthcare staff. The college is about to launch its own scheme to encourage standing desk adoption after seeing the NHS introduce standing desks to "tackle sedentary behaviour in the workplace" and compliment "NICE's new quality standard."
One Nottingham GP praised the study’s natural 'ripple effect' after seeing other practise staff adopting standing desks and patients respond positively.
Some GPs have raised questions about the cost of the standing desks used in the trial which have a hefty price tag of £2000. The Study also aims to determine if it will shorten the average length of consultations.
Our standing desks are available to purchase at a more reasonable price tag right here.
Further reading :NHS Adopt Standing Desks