"Could you sit down please?" A qualitative analysis of employees' experiences of standing in normally-seated workplace meetings.
ABSTRACT: Office workers spend most of their working day sitting, and prolonged sitting has been associated with increased risk of poor health. Standing in meetings has been proposed as a strategy by which to reduce workplace sitting but little is known about the standing experience. This study documented workers' experiences of standing in normally seated meetings. Twenty-five participants (18+ years), recruited from three UK universities, volunteered to stand in 3 separate, seated meetings that they were already scheduled to attend. They were instructed to stand when and for however long they deemed appropriate, and gave semi-structured interviews after each meeting. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using Framework Analysis. Four themes, central to the experience of standing in meetings, were extracted: physical challenges to standing; implications of standing for meeting engagement; standing as norm violation; and standing as appropriation of power. Participants typically experienced some physical discomfort from prolonged standing, apparently due to choosing to stand for as long as possible, and noted practical difficulties of fully engaging in meetings while standing. Many participants experienced marked psychological discomfort due to concern at being seen to be violating a strong perceived sitting norm. While standing when leading the meeting was felt to confer a sense of power and control, when not leading the meeting participants felt uncomfortable at being misperceived to be challenging the authority of other attendees. These findings reveal important barriers to standing in normally-seated meetings, and suggest strategies for acclimatising to standing during meetings. Physical discomfort might be offset by building standing time slowly and incorporating more sit-stand transitions. Psychological discomfort may be lessened by notifying other attendees about intentions to stand. Organisational buy-in to promotional strategies for standing may be required to dispel perceptions of sitting norms, and to progress a wider workplace health and wellbeing agenda.
Project description:Active meetings (standing or walking) have the potential to reduce sitting time among office workers. The aim of the present study was to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of standing and walking meetings. The "Take a Stand!" study was a cluster-randomized trial, consisting of multiple components including the possibility of active meetings. Analyses were based on the 173 participants in the intervention group. Feasibility was evaluated by questionnaire and interview data from participants, ambassadors and leaders. Effectiveness was assessed as the change in objectively measured sitting time from baseline to 3 months follow-up. Regular standing meetings were implemented at all offices and were generally popular, as they were perceived as more effective and focused. In contrast, only a few walking meetings were completed, and these were generally associated with several barriers and perceived as ineffective. Participants who participated in standing meetings on a regular basis had 59 min less sitting per 8 h workday (95%CI -101;-17) compared to participants who did not participate in standing meetings at all. Walking meeting participation was not significantly associated with changes in sitting time, likely due to the low number of employees who used this option. This explorative study concludes that standing meetings in office workplaces were feasible and well-liked by the employees, and having frequent standing meetings was associated with reduced sitting time. In contrast, walking meetings were unfeasible and less liked, and thus had no effect on sitting time.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Office workers typically sit for most of the workday, which has been linked to physical and mental ill-health and premature death. This mixed-methods study sought to identify barriers and facilitators to reducing sitting and increasing standing among office workers who received an intervention prototype (the 'ReSiT [Reducing Sitting Time] Study'). The intervention comprised a sit-stand workstation and tailored advice to enhance motivation, capability and opportunity to displace sitting with standing.<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty-nine UK university office workers (aged ?18y, working ?3?days per week, most time spent at a seated desk) participated in a 13-week uncontrolled study. They were initially monitored for one-week. In a subsequent face-to-face consultation, participants received sitting time feedback from a prior one-week monitoring period, and selected from a set of tailored sitting-reduction techniques. Quantitative data comprising sitting, standing and stepping time, which were objectively monitored for 7 consecutive days across three post-intervention timepoints, were descriptively analysed. Qualitative data, from semi-structured interviews conducted at 1, 6 and 12-weeks post-intervention, were thematically analysed.<h4>Results</h4>Compared to baseline, mean sitting time decreased at weeks 1, 6 and 12 by 49.7mins, 118.2mins, and 109.7mins respectively. Despite prior concerns about colleagues' reactions to standing, many reported encouragement from others, and standing could be equally conducive to social interaction or creating private, personal space. Some perceived less cognitively-demanding tasks to be more conducive to standing, though some found standing offered a valued break from challenging tasks. Participants prioritised workload over sitting reduction and were more likely to stand after rather than during work task completion. Temporary context changes, such as holidays, threatened to derail newfound routines.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings emphasise the importance of understanding workers' mental representations of their work, and the social functions of sitting and standing in the workplace. Workplace intervention developers should incorporate a pre-intervention sitting time monitoring period, encourage workers to identify personally meaningful tasks and cues for standing, and build organisational support for sitting-reduction. We will use these insights to refine our intervention for self-administered delivery.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ISRCTN29395780 (registered 21 November 2016).
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Sit-stand workstations have been shown to be effective in reducing sitting time in office workers. The aim of this study was to explore reasons for use and non-use of sit-stand workstations and strategies to decrease sitting and increase physical activity in the workplace from perspectives of users and non-users, as well as from managers and ergo-coaches. METHODS:Six group interviews with employees who have had access to sit-stand workstations for several years were conducted in a large semi-governmental organisation in the Netherlands. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Open coding was conducted by three researchers and codes and themes were discussed within the research team. RESULTS:Thematic analysis resulted in two major themes: 1) Reasons for use and non-use and 2) Strategies to increase standing and physical activity in the workplace. Shared and distinct reasons for use and non-use were identified between users and non-users of the sit-stand workstations. The most important reasons for use indicated by users were that they had experiencing immediate benefits, including staying alert and increasing focus; these benefits were not acknowledged by non-users. Non-users indicated that sitting was comfortable for them and that they were therefore not motivated to use the standing option. Strategies to increase the use of the standing option included an introductory phase to become familiar with working while standing and to experience the immediate benefits that come from using the standing option. Furthermore, providing reminders to use the standing option was suggested as a strategy to increase and sustain the use of sit-stand workstations. Increased use may lead to a change in the sitting culture within the organisation, as more employees would adopt active movement behaviours. CONCLUSION:Immediate benefits of the use of the standing option-only mentioned by the users-was the most distinct reason to use sit-stand workstations. Future research should explore how to motivate potential users to adhere to an introductory phase in order to experience these immediate benefits, whether it is linked to the use of sit-stand workstations or other interventions to reduce sitting time.
Project description:School-aged children are spending increasingly long periods of time engaged in sedentary activities such as sitting. Recent school-based studies have examined the intervention effects of introducing standing desks into the classroom in the short and medium term. The aim of this repeated-measures crossover design study was to assess the sit-stand behaviour, waking sedentary time and physical activity, and musculoskeletal discomfort at the start and the end of a full school year following the provision of standing desks into a Grade 4 classroom. Accelerometry and musculoskeletal discomfort were measured in both standing and traditional desk conditions at the start and at the end of the school year. At both time points, when students used a standing desk, there was an increase in standing time (17-26 min/school day) and a reduction in sitting time (17-40 min/school day). There was no significant difference in sit-stand behaviour during school hours or sedentary time and physical activity during waking hours between the start and the end of the school year. Students were less likely to report discomfort in the neck and shoulders when using a standing desk and this finding was consistent over the full school year. The beneficial effects of using a standing desk were maintained over the full school year, after the novelty of using a standing desk had worn off.
Project description:Excessive sitting time is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity independent of physical activity. This aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a sit-stand workstation on sitting time, and vascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal outcomes in office workers, and to investigate workstation acceptability and feasibility.A two-arm, parallel-group, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted in one organisation. Participants were asymptomatic full-time office workers aged ?18 years. Each participant in the intervention arm had a sit-stand workstation installed on their workplace desk for 8 weeks. Participants in the control arm received no intervention. The primary outcome was workplace sitting time, assessed at 0, 4 and 8 weeks by an ecological momentary assessment diary. Secondary behavioural, cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal outcomes were assessed. Acceptability and feasibility were assessed via questionnaire and interview. ANCOVA and magnitude-based inferences examined intervention effects relative to controls at 4 and 8 weeks. Participants and researchers were not blind to group allocation.Forty-seven participants were randomised (intervention n?=?26; control n?=?21). Relative to the control group at 8 weeks, the intervention group had a beneficial decrease in sitting time (-80.2 min/8-h workday (95 % CI?=?-129.0, -31.4); p?=?0.002), increase in standing time (72.9 min/8-h workday (21.2, 124.6); p?=?0.007) and decrease in total cholesterol (-0.40 mmol/L (-0.79, -0.003); p?=?0.049). No harmful changes in musculoskeletal discomfort/pain were observed relative to controls, and beneficial changes in flow-mediated dilation and diastolic blood pressure were observed. Most participants self-reported that the workstation was easy to use and their work-related productivity did not decrease when using the device. Factors that negatively influenced workstation use were workstation design, the social environment, work tasks and habits.Short-term use of a feasible sit-stand workstation reduced daily sitting time and led to beneficial improvements in cardiometabolic risk parameters in asymptomatic office workers. These findings imply that if the observed use of the sit-stand workstations continued over a longer duration, sit-stand workstations may have important ramifications for the prevention and reduction of cardiometabolic risk in a large proportion of the working population.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02496507 .
Project description:BACKGROUND:Large amounts of sitting at work have been identified as an emerging occupational health risk, and findings from intervention trials have been reported. However, few such reports have examined participant-selected strategies and their relationships with behaviour change. METHODS:The Stand Up Victoria cluster-randomised controlled trial was a workplace-delivered intervention comprising organisational, environmental and individual level behaviour change strategies aimed at reducing sitting time in desk-based workers. Sit-stand workstations were provided, and participants (n?=?134; intervention group only) were guided by health coaches to identify strategies for the 'Stand Up', 'Sit Less', and 'Move More' intervention targets, including how long they would stand using the workstation. Three-month workplace sitting and activity changes (activPAL3-assessed total sitting, prolonged sitting (i.e., sitting ?30 min continuously) and purposeful walking) were evaluated in relation to the number (regression analysis) and types of strategies (decision-tree analysis). RESULTS:Over 80 different strategies were nominated by participants. Each additional strategy nominated for the 'Stand Up' intervention target (i.e. number of strategies) was associated with a reduction in prolonged sitting of 27.6 min/8-h workday (95% CI: -53.1, -?2.1, p?=?0.034). Types of strategies were categorised into 13 distinct categories. Strategies that were task-based and phone-based were common across all three targets. The decision tree models did not select any specific strategy category as predicting changes in prolonged sitting ('Stand Up'), however four strategy categories were identified as important for total sitting time ('Sit Less') and three strategy categories for purposeful walking ('Moving More'). The uppermost nodes (foremost predictors) were nominating >?3 h/day of workstation standing (reducing total workplace sitting) and choosing a 'Move More' task-based strategy (purposeful walking). CONCLUSIONS:Workers chose a wide range of strategies, with both strategy choice and strategy quantity appearing relevant to behavioural improvement. Findings support a tailored and pragmatic approach to encourage a change in sitting and activity in the workplace. Evaluating participant-selected strategies in the context of a successful intervention serves to highlight options that may prove feasible and effective in other desk-based workplace environments. TRIAL REGISTRATION:This trial was prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials register ( ACTRN12611000742976 ) on 15 July 2011.
Project description:Too much prolonged sitting is a prevalent health risk among adults. Interventions have focused mainly on the workplace, with limited attention to non-work settings. The effectiveness of a short-term intervention to reduce and break-up sitting-time in overweight/obese adults was examined. This pilot study sought to determine the feasibility of interrupting sitting to stand/ambulate objectively with ActivPAL devices which provide a valid measurement of sit/stand transitions.This is a cross-over randomized controlled pilot that included 10 participants (aged 37-65 years) and although a small and short-term intervention (1-week intervention; no washout) further informs on the feasibility of interventions on a larger scale. At the workplace, screen-delivered hourly alerts prompted participants to break-up sitting-time through adopting walking behaviors (approximately 30-60 minutes day(-1)). During transportation/home/leisure-time individual goals for steps day(-1) were set and sitting-reduction strategies (including behavioral self-monitoring) were delivered through daily text messages. Change in inclinometer-derived sitting-time is the main outcome. Standing, stepping, number of sit/stand transitions and participant satisfaction were also examined.For the intervention compared to the control-week (mean difference (95 % confidence interval); p value), participants had less sitting-time (1.85 hours (0.96-2.75); p?=?0.001), more standing (0.77 hours (0.06-1.48); p?=?0.036), and more stepping (1.09 hours (0.79- 1.38); p?<?0.001). Importantly, there was no change in the total number of sit/stand transitions (3.28 (-2.33-8.89); p?=?0.218) despite successfully reducing sitting-time and increasing time spent standing and walking.Sitting-time in overweight/obese adults can be reduced following a brief multi-component intervention based on prompts, telephone support, goal setting and behavioral self-monitoring. However, the results from this pilot study provide new insight that when overweight/obese adults attempted to reduce sedentary-time by walking and standing for approximately 2 hour day(-1) more than usual, they did not actually get up from sitting more often (i.e. increasing the number of sit/stand transitions), but instead remained on their feet for longer during each non-sitting bout. This behavioral resistance to make more sit/stand transitions (i.e. get-up from sitting more often) may have important implications for future modification programs and supports the concept that when overweight/obese people are sitting, people seem to prefer not to interrupt the sedentary behavior to get-up from sitting.26 November 2013, ClinicalTrials.govID: NCT02007681 (first participant was randomized on 2 September 2013).
Project description:Excessive sedentary behavior has been associated with many negative health outcomes. While an understudied health topic, there is evidence that university students are excessively sedentary. Sit-stand desks have been shown to reduce sedentary time among pre-university students (ages 5-18 years) and sedentary workers but have not been tested in university classrooms. This study tested the effects of introducing sit-stand desks into a university classroom on student's classroom sitting and standing behaviors. Using a cross-over design, students received access to both traditional seated desks and sit-stand desks for six weeks. Data were collected between September and December, 2016. We recruited 304 healthy undergraduate university students enrolled in one of two small (25 seats) classrooms at a large Midwestern university during the fall of 2016. Average minutes of standing/hour/student, average percent class time spent standing, and the number of sit-stand transitions/student/hour were directly observed with video camera surveillance. Participants stood significantly more (p < 0.001) when provided access to sit-stand desks (7.2 min/h/student; 9.3% of class time spent standing) compared to when they had access to seated desks (0.7 min/h/student; 1.6% of class time spent standing) but no differences were observed for the number of sit-stand transitions (p = 0.47). Students reported high favorability for the sit-stand desks and improvements in several student engagement and affective outcomes while using the sit-stand desks. These findings support introducing sit-stand desks in university classrooms as an approach to reduce sedentary behaviors of university students.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Workplace interventions have shown promise for reducing sitting in office workers. Police office staff remain an understudied population group that work within a disciplined organisation with distinctive work tasks around public safety, potentially affecting their capability, opportunity, and motivation to change sitting behaviour. This study aimed to assess the perceived influences on reducing workplace sitting in non-operational, desk-based police staff in order to derive theoretical determinants for behaviour change. <h4>Methods</h4> Ten police staff from a single police force in Bedfordshire, England [eight female; 39.5 ± 11.5 years] took part in face-to-face semi-structured interviews lasting 46 ± 11 min on average. Thematic analysis identified key themes which were then mapped onto the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and linked to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model. <h4>Results</h4> Seven themes were identified: ‘Work tasks are seated’, ‘Social norm is to sit’, ‘Belief in ability to regulate behaviour’, ‘Knowledge of health risks’, ‘Organisational support’, ‘Impact on productivity’, and ‘Perceived autonomy for sitting reduction’. <h4>Conclusions</h4> Awareness of behaviour and health impacts (Capability), social and physical support to sit less (Opportunity), and habit formation techniques (Motivation) are recommended considerations in sitting reduction workplace interventions for police staff. <h4>Supplementary Information</h4> The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12889-021-12019-6.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Wearable activity trackers are now a common feature of workplace wellness programs; however, their ability to impact sitting time (the behavior in which most of the desk-based workday is spent) is relatively unknown. This study evaluated the LUMOback, an activity tracker that targets sitting time, as part of a cluster-randomized workplace sitting intervention in desk-based office workers. OBJECTIVE:Study objectives were to explore: (1) office workers' self-directed LUMOback use, (2) individual-level characteristics associated with LUMOback use, (3) the impact of LUMOback use on activity and sitting behaviors, and (4) office workers' perceived LUMOback acceptability. METHODS:Exploratory analyses were conducted within the activity tracker intervention group (n=66) of a 2-arm cluster-randomized trial (n=153) with follow-up at 3 and 12 months. The intervention, delivered from within the workplace, consisted of organizational support strategies (eg, manager support, emails) to stand up, sit less, and move more, plus the provision of a LUMOback activity tracker. The LUMOback, worn belted around the waist, provides real-time sitting feedback through a mobile app. LUMOback usage data (n=62), Web-based questionnaires (n=33), activPAL-assessed sitting, prolonged (≥30 min bouts) and nonprolonged (<30 min bouts) sitting, standing and stepping time (7-day, 24 h/day protocol; n=40), and telephone interviews (n=27) were used to evaluate study aims. LUMOback usage data were downloaded and described. Associations between user characteristics and LUMOback usage (in the first 3 months) were analyzed using zero-inflated negative binomial models. Associations between LUMOback usage and 3-month activity outcomes were analyzed using mixed models, correcting for cluster. LUMOback acceptability was explored using 3-month questionnaire data and thematic analysis of telephone interviews (conducted 6 to 10 months post intervention commencement). RESULTS:Tracker uptake was modest (43/61, 70%), and among users, usage over the first 3 months was low (1-48 days, median 8). Usage was greatest among team leaders and those with low self-perceived scores for job control and supervisor relationships. Greater tracker use (≥5 days vs <5 days) was significantly associated only with changes in prolonged unbroken sitting (-50.7 min/16 h; 95% CI -94.0 to -7.3; P=.02) during all waking hours, and changes in nonprolonged sitting (+32.5 min/10 h; 95% CI 5.0 to 59.9; P=.02) during work hours. Participants found the LUMOback easy to use but only somewhat comfortable. Qualitatively, participants valued the real-time app feedback. Nonuptake was attributed to being busy and setup issues. Low usage was attributed to discomfort wearing the LUMOback. CONCLUSIONS:The LUMOback-although able to reduce prolonged sitting time-was only used to a limited extent, and its low usage may provide a partial explanation for the limited behavior changes that occurred. Discomfort limited the feasibility of the LUMOback for ongoing use. Such findings yield insight into how to improve upon implementing activity trackers in workplace settings.