Prompts to disrupt sitting time and increase physical activity at work, 2011-2012

Ann M. Swartz*, Aubrianne E. Rote, Whitney Allegra Welch, Hotaka Maeda, Teresa L. Hart, Young Ik Cho, Scott J. Strath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Introduction: The objective of this study was to assess change in sitting and physical activity behavior in response to a workplace intervention to disrupt prolonged sitting time. Methods: Sixty office workers were randomized to either a Stand group (n = 29), which received hourly prompts (computer-based and wrist-worn) to stand up, or a Step group (n = 31), which received the same hourly prompts and an additional prompt to walk 100 steps or more upon standing. An ActivPAL monitor was used to assess sitting and physical activity behavior on the same 3 consecutive workdays during baseline and intervention periods. Mixed-effect models with random intercepts and random slopes for time were performed to assess change between groups and across time. Results: Both groups significantly reduced duration of average sitting bouts (Stand group, by 16%; Step group, by 19%) and the number of sitting bouts of 60 minutes or more (Step group, by 36%; Stand group, by 54%). The Stand group significantly reduced total sitting time (by 6.6%), duration of the longest sitting bout (by 29%), and number of sitting bouts of 30 minutes or more (by 13%) and increased the number of sit-to-stand transitions (by 15%) and standing time (by 23%). Stepping time significantly increased in the Stand (by 14%) and Step (by 29%) groups, but only the Step group significantly increased (by 35%) the number of steps per workday. Differences in changes from baseline to intervention between groups were not significant for any outcome. Conclusion: Interventions that focus on disrupting sitting time only in the workplace may result in less sitting. When sitting time disruptions are paired with a physical activity prompt, people may be more likely to increase their workday physical activity, but the effect on sitting time may be attenuated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130318
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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