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BMC Public Health. 2017 May 16;17(1):455. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4367-8.

Impact of a workplace 'sit less, move more' program on efficiency-related outcomes of office employees.

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Departament de Ciències de l'Activitat Física, Centre d'Estudis Socials i Socio Sanitaris, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, c/ Sagrada Família 7, 08500, Vic (Barcelona), Spain.
Departament de Ciències de l'Activitat Física, Centre d'Estudis Socials i Socio Sanitaris, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, c/ Sagrada Família 7, 08500, Vic (Barcelona), Spain.
Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Department, FPCEE Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull, c/Císter 34, 08022, Barcelona, Spain.
Physical Therapy Department, FCS Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull, c/Padilla 326-332, 08025, Barcelona, Spain.
Departamento de Educación Física y Deportiva, Universidad del País Vasco, Portal de Lasarte 71, 01007, Vitoria, Spain.
Facultad CC.EE. e do Deporte, Universidad de Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira s/n, 36005, Pontevedra, Spain.
Department of Economics and Business, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, c/Sagrada Família 7, 08500, Vic (Barcelona), Spain.
Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya (AQuAS), c/Roc Boronat 81-95 (edifici Salvany), 2a planta, 08005, Barcelona, Spain.
Departament de Salut i AccióSocial, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, Vic (Barcelona), Spain.
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, St. Lucia Campus, 4072, Australia.
Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Fairfax Hall, Headingley Campus, Leeds, LS6 3QS, UK.



Few studies have examined the impact of 'sit less, move more' interventions on workplace performance. This study assessed the short and mid-term impacts of and patterns of change within, a 19-week workplace web-based intervention (Walk@WorkSpain; W@WS; 2010-11) on employees´ presenteeism, mental well-being and lost work performance.


A site randomised control trial recruited employees at six Spanish university campuses (n = 264; 42 ± 10 years; 171 female), assigned by worksite and campus to an Intervention (IG; used W@WS; n = 129; 87 female) or an active Comparison group (A-CG; pedometer, paper diary and self-reported sitting time; n = 135; 84 female). A linear mixed model assessed changes between the baseline, ramping (8 weeks), maintenance (11 weeks) and follow-up (two months) phases for the IG versus A-CG on (i) % of lost work productivity (Work Limitations Questionnaire; WLQ); (ii) three scales for presenteeism (WLQ) assessing difficulty meeting scheduling demands (Time), performing cognitive and inter-personal tasks (Mental-Interpersonal) and decrements in meeting the quantity, quality and timeliness of completed work (Output); and (iii) mental well-being (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale). T-tests assessed differences between groups for changes on the main outcomes. In the IG, a multivariate logistic regression model identified patterns of response according to baseline socio-demographic variables, physical activity and sitting time.


There was a significant 2 (group) × 2 (program time points) interaction for the Time (F [3]=8.69, p = 0.005), Mental-Interpersonal (F [3]=10.01, p = 0.0185), Output scales for presenteeism (F [3]=8.56, p = 0.0357), and for % of lost work performance (F [3]=10.31, p = 0.0161). Presenteeism and lost performance rose significantly in both groups across all study time points; after baseline performance was consistently better in the IG than in the A-CG. Better performance was linked to employees being more active (Time, p = 0.041) and younger (Mental-interpersonal, p = 0.057; Output, p = 0.017). Higher total sitting time during nonworking days (Mental-interpersonal, p = 0.019) and lower sitting time during workdays (WLQ Index, p = 0.013) also improved performance.


Versus an active comparison condition, a 'sit less, move more` workplace intervention effectively reduced an array of markers of lost workday productivity.


NCT02960750 ; Date of registration: 07/11/2016.


Physical activity; Presenteeism; Sitting time; Well-being; Workplace

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