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The impact of activity based working (ABW) on workplace activity, eating behaviours, productivity, and satisfaction

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2018, 00:00 authored by Lauren ArundellLauren Arundell, Bron Sudholz, Megan TeychenneMegan Teychenne, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Brooke Hayward, Genevieve N Healy, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio
The redesign of the physical workplace according to activity-based working (ABW) principles has potential to influence employee health and workplace outcomes. This natural experiment examined changes in accelerometer-derived workplace activity, self-reported eating behaviours, productivity, workplace satisfaction before (March to November 2014) and six to nine months after moving to an ABW workplace compared to a comparison workplace (n = 146 at baseline (56% ABW, aged 40.1 ± 8.5 years, 72% female). Interviews were also conducted with 21 ABW participants. Between- and within-group differences were examined and mixed model analysis examined intervention effects over time. Effect sizes were calculated on change scores (Cohen's d). Although not statistically significant, ABW participants had meaningful improvements in workday sedentary time, light-, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, job satisfaction and relationship with co-workers (d = 0.379⁻0.577), and small declines in productivity (d = 0.278). There were significant, meaningful, and beneficial intervention effects on perceived organisational support for being active in the workplace, frequency of eating lunch with colleagues, and satisfaction with the physical environment in ABW compared to comparison participants (d = 0.501⁻0.839). Qualitative data suggested that ABW employees associated ABW with greater opportunities for movement and collaboration, but had mixed views on the impact on productivity. Future research with larger samples and over longer follow-up periods is warranted.

History

Journal

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

15

Issue

5

Article number

1005

Pagination

1 - 16

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, by the authors