Life‑cycle under the desk?

The employees of 2.-0 LCA consultants have access to a new piece of office equipment: An under-desk cycle. While we for many years have seen our colleagues standing at their height-adjustable tables, the new equipment allows for actively moving the legs, while seated at the table.

The investment in the new equipment is a spin-off of our recent study of how the 2015 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study can be related to product life cycles, as part of our detailing of the impact pathways contributing to the social footprint (the report is available to members of our social LCA club). Here you can for example read about ”Inadequate physical exercise”:

“The GBD study attributes 35 million DALY (1.5% of GBD) to “low physical activity”, divided on ischemic heart disease (48%), diabetes (26%), stroke (15%), colon cancer (6%), and breast cancer (4%). This corresponds to the burden of disease for activity levels below the WHO minimum recommendation of 600 metabolic equivalent-minutes (MET-minutes) per week. Kyu et al. (2016) provides relative changes in risk per MET-minute/week, which can be translated into a DALY value per MET-minute/hour. We can define a pressure indicator for every hour of activity deviating positively or negatively from the average MET-level.”

This sparked the question: How much time do we actually spend on sedentary work at 2.-0 LCA consultants? And what can we do about it? Since none of the employees wants to work less to have time to exercise more, the only alternative solution is to exercise while working. A little more research led us to the desk-cycle as the currently most interesting option (but probably not the last) to prolong the life-cycle of our employees while they make life-cycles of products for our clients.