Workers tend to be more active and less stressed in open-plan offices and workspaces as compared to those working in cubicles and private offices, according to a new research.
Since open-plan spaces offer lesser privacy, workers would need to get up from their seat to take private phone calls. The study by the University of Arizona, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, claims to be the first to measure stress and levels of activity in office employees, rather than conducting a verbal survey. It used chest sensors to track movements and heart rate in hundreds of working people in different offices over three days.
However, the researchers admit that the study is observational only and factors like location of stairs and elevators can be at play too. It also said that office people tend to be more sedentary compared to other workers and are thus likely to have more health problems. The most common ones include heart diseases, increased stress levels, and tiredness.
Feeling stressed is also linked to an inactive work culture that requires one to sit in one place. The study included data from 231 office workers. Those in open-plan spaces were 32 per cent more active than workers in private offices and 20 per cent more than those in cubicles. Also, those who were more active had 14 per cent lesser stress levels than those who were not.
On the whole, the study found men to be more active than women.