Grant received to research workstations and brain function

Two NIU professors have secured a grant to investigate the effects sitting and standing workstations have on brain function.

In-Sop Kim, assistant professor in speech-language pathology, along with Jaejin Hwang, assistant professor in industrial and systems engineering, secured a grant from FOCAL Upright, a furniture company, to conduct the research.

Prolonged sitting and sedentary work, the physical inactivity and static postures for lengthy duration, has been significantly related to many negative health outcomes including the risk of chronic diseases, such as the work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the cardiovascular disorders, and type II diabetes.

In recent years, dynamic workstations including standing workstations and leaning (perching) workstations, have gained increased popularity as a way to minimize sedentary behavior and encourage movement during the work. However, there is a lack of understanding of how dynamic workstations can influence brain activation.

Kim and Hwang’s research focus will investigate the difference in frontal brain function and cognitive outcomes between conventional sitting workstation and dynamic standing, and leaning (perching) workstations.