Ergonomic Health Promotion

Lucas Carr, PhD

Lucas Carr, PhD

University of Iowa

Efficacy of a Combined Ergonomic Health Promotion Intervention on Employee Health

The Healthier Workforce Center awarded Lucas Carr, professor of Health and Human Physiology, funding for an intervention to help sedentary office workers who are overweight be more active at work. Pedal machines were placed under desks, so workers could exercise while seated. After 16 weeks, the health and activity levels of workers with and without pedal machines were compared. Workers with pedal machines spent significantly more time moving at work, pedaling on average 50 minutes per day. They also significantly reduced resting heart rate, weight, and percent body fat. These findings suggest that pedal machines may be a low cost, effective approach for improving the health of sedentary workers.

Dr. Carr was awarded a second Healthier Workforce Center pilot grant in 2018: “Accuracy and Acceptability of StandDesk Monitor for Measuring Time spent Sitting and Standing at a Workstation.”


Carr LJ, Leonhard C, Tucker S, Fethke N, Benzo R, Gerr F. Total worker health intervention increases activity of sedentary workers. American journal of preventive medicine. 2016 Jan 1;50(1):9-17.

Dr. Carr’s pilot grant work led to a partnership with Dr. Darren Casey in Physical Therapy and additional funding from the Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Iowa:

  • Benzo RM, Kruse NT, Hughes WE, Casey DP, Carr LJ. Acute effects of interrupting sitting on discomfort and alertness of office workers. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine. 2018 Sep 1;60(9):804-9.
  • Kruse NT, Hughes WE, Benzo RM, Carr LJ, Casey DP. Workplace Strategies to Prevent Sitting-induced Endothelial Dysfunction. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2018 Apr;50(4):801-8.


Presented findings at the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2014, Frankfurt, Germany, August 25th, 2014.


Dr. Carr was also featured in over 100 news outlets including The Atlantic, Yahoo News, Christian Science Monitor, Consumer Reports on Health, Science Daily, and Iowa Public Radio.