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Am J Prev Med. 2014 Jan;46(1):30-40. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.09.009.

Workplace sitting and height-adjustable workstations: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland. Electronic address: m.neuhaus@uq.edu.au.
  • 2Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland; Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • 3Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland; Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria; Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne, Victoria; School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
  • 4Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland; Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria; Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria; School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Desk-based office employees sit for most of their working day. To address excessive sitting as a newly identified health risk, best practice frameworks suggest a multi-component approach. However, these approaches are resource intensive and knowledge about their impact is limited.

PURPOSE:

To compare the efficacy of a multi-component intervention to reduce workplace sitting time, to a height-adjustable workstations-only intervention, and to a comparison group (usual practice).

DESIGN:

Three-arm quasi-randomized controlled trial in three separate administrative units of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Data were collected between January and June 2012 and analyzed the same year.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:

Desk-based office workers aged 20-65 (multi-component intervention, n=16; workstations-only, n=14; comparison, n=14).

INTERVENTION:

The multi-component intervention comprised installation of height-adjustable workstations and organizational-level (management consultation, staff education, manager e-mails to staff) and individual-level (face-to-face coaching, telephone support) elements.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Workplace sitting time (minutes/8-hour workday) assessed objectively via activPAL3 devices worn for 7 days at baseline and 3 months (end-of-intervention).

RESULTS:

At baseline, the mean proportion of workplace sitting time was approximately 77% across all groups (multi-component group 366 minutes/8 hours [SD=49]; workstations-only group 373 minutes/8 hours [SD=36], comparison 365 minutes/8 hours [SD=54]). Following intervention and relative to the comparison group, workplace sitting time in the multi-component group was reduced by 89 minutes/8-hour workday (95% CI=-130, -47 minutes; p<0.001) and 33 minutes in the workstations-only group (95% CI=-74, 7 minutes, p=0.285).

CONCLUSIONS:

A multi-component intervention was successful in reducing workplace sitting. These findings may have important practical and financial implications for workplaces targeting sitting time reductions.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry 00363297.

© 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine Published by American Journal of Preventive Medicine All rights reserved.

PMID:
24355669
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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