Office safety Office hazards Research/studies Worker health and wellness

Anti-sitting interventions may not help workers with fixed schedules

office stretching

Photo: David Woolley/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Perth, Australia – Promoting activity in the workplace can help reduce sitting time, but not by much among workers with fixed schedules, according to a new study from Curtin University.

Researchers tested three interventions aimed at reducing sitting time: workstations with a treadmill or cycling desk, physical activity breaks, and ergonomic workstations designed to break up sitting tasks. Workers wore a device that logged sedentary time.

Using data from the 62 workers who completed the study, researchers found the interventions reduced sitting time by an average of eight minutes, or about 2 percent, and led to more breaks and light-intensity physical activity.

However, workers with control over how they spent their time showed more of a decrease in sitting time than workers who had little flexibility to vary their tasks or break times.

The study was published online Nov. 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.