A multi-component intervention to sit less and move more in a contact centre setting: a feasibility study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Call agents spend ~?90% of their working day seated, which may negatively impact health, productivity, and wellbeing. This study aimed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of a multi-component workplace intervention targeting increased activity and decreased prolonged sitting in the contact centre setting prior to a full-scale effectiveness trial. METHODS:An 8-week non-randomised pre-post feasibility study was conducted. Using a mixed methods approach, focus groups and interviews were thematically analysed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of key study phases, and provide context to agents' process evaluation and survey responses. The multi-component intervention, conducted in a single call centre, included height-adjustable workstations, emails, education and training sessions, and support from team leaders and a workplace champion. RESULTS:Six (of 20) team leaders were recruited, with 17 of 84 call agents (78% female, 39.3?±?11.9?years) completing baseline assessments and 13 completing follow-up. High workload influenced recruitment. Call agents perceived assessments as acceptable, though strategies are needed to enhance fidelity. Education sessions, height-adjustable workstations and emails were perceived as the most effective components; however, height-adjustable hot-desks were not perceived as feasible in this setting. CONCLUSIONS:This study has identified unique, pragmatic considerations for conducting a multi-level, multi-component PA and SB intervention and associated evaluation in highly sedentary call agents in the challenging contact centre setting. The intervention was largely perceived positively, with call agents and team leaders describing numerous perceived positive effects on behavioural, health and work-related outcomes. Findings will be of value to researchers attempting to intervene in contact centres and will be used by the current authors to design a subsequent trial.
Project description:Contact centre call agents are highly sedentary at work, which can negatively affect cardio-metabolic health. This qualitative cross-sectional study explored factors influencing call agents' workplace physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB), and perspectives on strategies to help agents move more and sit less at work. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with call agents (n = 20), team leaders (n = 11) and senior staff (n = 12) across four contact centres were guided by the socio-ecological model and analysed thematically. Agents offered insights into the impact of high occupational sitting and low PA on their physical and mental health, and factors influencing their motivation to move more and sit less at work. Team leaders, although pivotal in influencing behaviours, identified their own workload, and agents' requirement to meet targets, as factors influencing their ability to promote agents to move more and sit less at work. Further, senior team leaders offered a broad organisational perspective on influential factors, including business needs and the importance of return on investment from PA and SB interventions. Unique factors, including continuous monitoring of productivity metrics and personal time, a physical connection to their workstation, and low autonomy over their working practices, seemed to limit call agents' opportunity to move more and sit less at work. Proposed strategies included acknowledgement of PA and SB within policy and job roles, height-adjustable workstations, education and training sessions and greater interpersonal support. Additionally, measuring the impact of interventions was perceived to be key for developing a business case and enhancing organisational buy-in. Multi-level interventions embedded into current working practices appear important for the multiple stakeholders, while addressing concerns regarding productivity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:High levels of sedentary behaviour (i.e., sitting) are a risk factor for poor health. With high levels of sitting widespread in desk-based office workers, office workplaces are an appropriate setting for interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour. This paper describes the development processes and proposed intervention procedures of Stand More AT (SMArT) Work, a multi-component randomised control (RCT) trial which aims to reduce occupational sitting time in desk-based office workers within the National Health Service (NHS). METHODS/DESIGN:SMArT Work consists of 2 phases: 1) intervention development: The development of the SMArT Work intervention takes a community-based participatory research approach using the Behaviour Change Wheel. Focus groups will collect detailed information to gain a better understanding of the most appropriate strategies, to sit alongside the provision of height-adjustable workstations, at the environmental, organisational and individual level that support less occupational sitting. 2) intervention delivery and evaluation: The 12 month cluster RCT aims to reduce workplace sitting in the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Desk-based office workers (n?=?238) will be randomised to control or intervention clusters, with the intervention group receiving height-adjustable workstations and supporting techniques based on the feedback received from the development phase. Data will be collected at four time points; baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome is a reduction in sitting time, measured by the activPAL(TM) micro at 12 months. Secondary outcomes include objectively measured physical activity and a variety of work-related health and psycho-social measures. A process evaluation will also take place. DISCUSSION:This study will be the first long-term, evidence-based, multi-component cluster RCT aimed at reducing occupational sitting within the NHS. This study will help form a better understanding and knowledge base of facilitators and barriers to creating a healthier work environment and contribute to health and wellbeing policy. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN10967042 . Registered 2 February 2015.
Project description:Research shows that perception of physical size and status are positively associated. The current study was developed to replicate and extend earlier research on height perceptions of political leaders, indicating that supporters perceive their leaders as taller than non-supporters do, and winners are perceived as taller after the elections, while losers are perceived as shorter after the elections (winner/loser effects). Individuals use greater height and strength as indications of greater physical formidability. We hypothesized that in-group leaders' height and strength, but not weight, would be overestimated more compared to out-group leaders', and that this status-size association is not only driven by dominance, but also by prestige. We also tested whether previously found gender effects in estimates were due to using one's own height as an anchor, and we used an improved methodological approach by relying on multiple measurements of physical formidability and a within-subject design for testing winner/loser effects. The results of a two-part longitudinal study (self-selected sample via voting advice website; NWave1 = 2,011; NWave2 = 322) suggest that estimated physical formidability of political leaders is affected by motivated perception, as prestige was positively associated with estimated formidability, and in-group leaders were estimated more formidable than out-group leaders. We conclude that distortions in judged formidability related to social status are the result of motivated social perception in order to promote group functioning and leadership. Although we did not replicate a winner-effect (greater estimations of formidability after winning the elections), we did find some evidence for a loser-effect. Earlier suggestions that men make larger estimations than women because of their own larger body size are not supported. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Office-based workers accumulate high amounts of sitting time. Stand More At Work (SMArT Work) aimed to reduce occupational sitting time and a cluster randomised controlled trial demonstrated it was successful in achieving this aim. The purpose of this paper is to present the process evaluation of the SMArT Work intervention. METHODS:Questionnaire data were collected from intervention participants at 6 months (n?=?58) and 12?months (n?=?55). Questionnaires sought feedback on the different components of the intervention (education, height-adjustable desk, Darma cushion, behaviour feedback, progress chats (coaching) with research team, action planning/goal setting diary) and experiences of evaluation measures. Control participants (n?=?37) were asked via questionnaire at 12-month follow-up about the impact of the study on their behaviour and any lifestyle changes made during the study. Participants from both arms were invited to focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences on completion of 12-month follow-up. RESULTS:Focus group and questionnaire data showed a positive attitude towards the height-adjustable workstation with a high proportion of participants using it every day (62%). Most participants (92%) felt the education seminar increased their awareness of the health consequences of too much sitting and motivated them to change their behaviour. Receiving feedback on their sitting time and support from the research team also encouraged behaviour change. The Darma cushion and action planning/goal setting diary were seen to be less helpful for behaviour change. Benefits experienced included fewer aches and pains, improved cognitive functioning, increased productivity, more energy and positive feelings about general health. CONCLUSIONS:Key elements of the programme identified as facilitating behaviour change were the educational seminar, the height-adjustable workstation, behavioural feedback and regular contact with research staff through regular progress chats. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN: ISRCTN10967042. Registered on 2 February 2015.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Medication reconciliation (MedRec) is an important patient safety strategy and is widespread in US hospitals and globally. Nevertheless, high quality MedRec has been difficult to implement. As part of a larger study investigating MedRec interventions, we evaluated and compared organisational contextual factors and team cohesion by hospital characteristics and implementation team members' profession to better understand the environmental context and its correlates during a multi-site quality improvement (QI) initiative. DESIGN:We conducted a cross-sectional observational study using a web survey (contextual factors) and a national hospital database (hospital characteristics). SETTING:Hospitals participating in the second Multi-Centre Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS2). PARTICIPANTS:Implementation team members of 18 participating MARQUIS2 hospitals. OUTCOMES:Primary outcome: contextual factor ratings (ie, organisational capacity, leadership support, goal alignment, staff involvement, patient safety climate and team cohesion). Secondary outcome: differences in contextual factors by hospital characteristics. RESULTS:Fifty-five team members from the 18 participating hospitals completed the survey. Ratings of contextual factors differed significantly by domain (p<0.001), with organisational capacity scoring the lowest (mean=4.0 out of 7.0) and perceived team cohesion and goal alignment scoring the highest (mean~6.0 out of 7.0). No statistically significant differences were observed in contextual factors by hospital characteristics (p>0.05). Respondents in the pharmacy profession gave lower ratings of leadership support than did those in the nursing or other professions group (p=0.01). CONCLUSIONS:Hospital size, type and location did not drive differences in contextual factors, suggesting that tailoring MedRec QI implementation to hospital characteristics may not be necessary. Strong team cohesion suggests the use of interdisciplinary teams does not detract from cohesion when conducting mentored QI projects. Organisational leaders should particularly focus on supporting pharmacy services and addressing their concerns during MedRec QI initiatives. Future research should correlate contextual factors with implementation success to inform how best to prepare sites to implement complex QI interventions such as MedRec.
Project description:Leadership positions are still stereotyped as masculine, especially in male-dominated fields (e.g., engineering). So how do gender stereotypes affect the evaluation of leaders and team cohesiveness in the process of team development? In our study participants worked in 45 small teams (4-5 members). Each team was headed by either a female or male leader, so that 45 leaders (33% women) supervised 258 team members (39% women). Over a period of nine months, the teams developed specific engineering projects as part of their professional undergraduate training. We examined leaders' self-evaluation, their evaluation by team members, and team cohesiveness at two points of time (month three and month nine, the final month of the collaboration). While we did not find any gender differences in leaders' self-evaluation at the beginning, female leaders evaluated themselves more favorably than men at the end of the projects. Moreover, female leaders were evaluated more favorably than male leaders at the beginning of the project, but the evaluation by team members did not differ at the end of the projects. Finally, we found a tendency for female leaders to build more cohesive teams than male leaders.
Project description:Using a multi-source field study design with 184 unique triads of employees-supervisor dyads, this paper examines whether servant leaders install a serving attitude among employees. That is, servant leaders aim to encourage employees to take responsibility, to cooperate and to create high quality interactions with each other (team-member exchange; TMX). We hypothesise that servant leadership will have an influence on Organisational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) and creativity through team-member exchange. Two facets of OCB are distinguished: organisational citizenship behaviour towards individuals (OCBI), on the one hand, and taking up extra tasks that benefit the organisation (OCBO), on the other hand. The results show that servant leadership is positively related to team-member exchange, and that team-member exchange is positively related to OCBI, OCBO and creativity. The bootstrapping estimates indicated significant indirect effects of servant leadership on the three target variables through team-member exchange. The study's findings add to the body of literature on servant leadership, OCB and creativity at the workplace, and underline the importance of creating favourable working conditions that foster positive and high quality team-member exchange. This study also broadens our understanding on the importance of co-workers on the relation between servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and creativity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Excessive time spent in sedentary behaviours (sitting or lying with low energy expenditure) is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Desk-based office workers typically accumulate high amounts of daily sitting time, often in prolonged unbroken bouts. The Stand Up Victoria study aims to determine whether a 3-month multi-component intervention in the office setting reduces workplace sitting, particularly prolonged, unbroken sitting time, and results in improvements in cardio-metabolic biomarkers and work-related outcomes, compared to usual practice. METHODS/DESIGN:A two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT), with worksites as the unit of randomization, will be conducted in 16 worksites located in Victoria, Australia. Work units from one organisation (Department of Human Services, Australian Government) will be allocated to either the multi-component intervention (organisational, environmental [height-adjustable workstations], and individual behavioural strategies) or to a usual practice control group. The recruitment target is 160 participants (office-based workers aged 18-65 years and working at least 0.6 full time equivalent) per arm. At each assessment (0- [baseline], 3- [post intervention], and 12-months [follow-up]), objective measurement via the activPAL3 activity monitor will be used to assess workplace: sitting time (primary outcome); prolonged sitting time (sitting time accrued in bouts of ?30 minutes); standing time; sit-to-stand transitions; and, moving time. Additional outcomes assessed will include: non-workplace activity; cardio-metabolic biomarkers and health indicators (including fasting glucose, lipids and insulin; anthropometric measures; blood pressure; and, musculoskeletal symptoms); and, work-related outcomes (presenteeism, absenteeism, productivity, work performance). Incremental cost-effectiveness and identification of both workplace and individual-level mediators and moderators of change will also be evaluated. DISCUSSION:Stand Up Victoria will be the first cluster-RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention aimed at reducing prolonged workplace sitting in office workers. Strengths include the objective measurement of activity and assessment of the intervention on markers of cardio-metabolic health. Health- and work-related benefits, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the intervention, will help to inform future occupational practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ACTRN1211000742976.
Project description:This paper examined the existence of gender differences in the degree to which leaders' perceptions of successor potential is influenced by interpersonal fit. In Study 1 (N = 97 leaders, N = 280 followers), multi-source field data revealed that for male leaders, ratings of followers' potential as successors were positively related to interpersonal fit, measured by the degree to which followers' saw their leadership as being close and interpersonal (i.e., being coaching, transformational, and leading by example). For female leaders, these relationships were absent, suggesting that they are less influenced by interpersonal fit. In Study 2 (N = 311 leaders), a scenario study provided causal evidence that male leaders rated potential successors more positively when they perceived greater interpersonal fit with followers, whereas female leaders' successor ratings were not informed by perceptions of fit. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications for gendered leadership successor perceptions in organizations.
Project description:This study evaluated hypothesized effects of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model on undergraduate peer leaders' critical thinking skills. This investigation also explored peer leaders' perceptions of their critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test with control group design was used to determine critical thinking gains in PLTL/non-PLTL groups. Critical thinking was assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) among participants who had previously completed and been successful in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at a large, private research university in the American Northeast. Qualitative data from open-ended questionnaires confirmed that factors thought to improve critical thinking skills such as interaction with peers, problem solving, and discussion were perceived by participants to have an impact on critical thinking gains. However, no significant quantitative differences in peer leaders' critical thinking skills were found between pre- and post-experience CCTST measurements or between experimental and control groups.