Workplace health beliefs concerning physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Sudholz, Bronwyn, Salmon, Jo-Ann and Mussap, Alexander 2018, Workplace health beliefs concerning physical activity and sedentary behaviour, Occupational medicine, vol. 68, no. 9, pp. 631-634, doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqy143.

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Title Workplace health beliefs concerning physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Author(s) Sudholz, Bronwyn
Salmon, Jo-AnnORCID iD for Salmon, Jo-Ann
Mussap, AlexanderORCID iD for Mussap, Alexander
Journal name Occupational medicine
Volume number 68
Issue number 9
Start page 631
End page 634
Total pages 4
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2018-12-26
ISSN 1471-8405
Keyword(s) health beliefs
occupational health
physical activity
sedentary behaviour
workplace sitting
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
public, environmental & occupational health
Summary Background: Sedentary behaviour (SB) in the form of uninterrupted sitting constitutes a risk factor for chronic disease that is independent of the risks associated with insufficient physical activity (PA). However, little is known about employee and manager health beliefs concerning SB and PA. Aims: We assess health beliefs of desk-based workers concerning PA and SB accrued at work versus during leisure. We ask whether recreational PA attenuates the perceived ill-health effects of prolonged occupational SB, and compare attitudes of employees and managers to interventions aimed at reducing/interrupting workplace sitting. Methods: Two hundred and twenty-two desk-based employees and 121 managers located in Melbourne, Australia, rated the healthiness of vignettes describing combinations of uninterrupted sitting, sitting with breaks, light PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA accumulated at work and during leisure time. Participants also responded to open-ended questions concerning the implications of reducing workplace sitting. Results: Mixed-model ANOVA revealed that the presence of leisure-time PA greatly diminished the perceived detrimental effects to health of workplace sitting. Subsequent thematic analysis of qualitative data further revealed that participants' concerns with SB were primarily musculoskeletal and workplace performance rather than chronic health. Conclusions: Employees and their managers do not rate uninterrupted sitting as being unhealthy when it is presented to them in the form of an 'active couch potato' lifestyle (a person who meets minimum PA recommendations but spends much of their work time and non-PA time sitting). We recommend that interventions targeting workplace SB take into account the contextual nature of health beliefs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/occmed/kqy143
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID NHMRC CRE 1057608
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
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