Deakin University

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Workplace sitting and height-adjustable workstations: A randomized controlled trial

journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-24, 01:23 authored by M Neuhaus, G N Healy, David DunstanDavid Dunstan, N Owen, E G Eakin
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 © 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.



American Journal of Preventive Medicine




30 - 40





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal