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859. Workplace Interventions to Reduce Sedentary Behavior: A Systematic Review

Research Article
Ina Becker, Birgit Wallmann-Sperlick, Robert Rupp, Jens Bucksch
February 2018

Commentary by Lee Goodwin, M.A. Physical Activity and Health

[Epub ahead of print]

This systematic review contributes to the growing research on sedentary behaviour in the office-based workplace. It investigates the extent to which interventions aid in the reduction of sedentary behaviour among office workers, and explores a range of variables which moderate intervention effects.

A literature search was conducted from April until May 2016 in the scientific databases PubMed, PsycINFO and SPORTDiscus. Intervention studies were considered through a set of inclusion criteria, with key information extracted from each study. Using established instruments, the methodological quality of each identified study was rated and awarded a quality score of either low, moderate, or high. A “Best Evidence Synthesis” was applied to summarise study results and to rate the strength of four specified intervention types: change in environmental structure, walking strategies, counselling, and multi-component interventions. On the basis of these four intervention types, each study was placed into an evidence category deemed either high, moderate or inconsistent. Additionally, an analysis of moderators was undergone to determine the significant effects of interventions in relation to the following variables: intervention duration, intervention focus, intervention type, study quality, theory base and intervention methods.

A total of 17 articles met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Methodological quality was rated as low for 2 studies and moderate for 15 studies. In total, 24 intervention methods were considered. The most prevalent intervention method was “environmental restructuring” (13 studies), followed by “adding objects to the environment” (12 studies), “instructions on how to carry out the behaviour” (11 studies), “goal setting” (10 studies) and “social support” (10 studies). Sitting time was measured subjectively in 9 studies and objectively in 6 studies, with 2 studies applying both subjective and objective measures. Results revealed the intervention types of “change in environmental structure” (specifically sit-stand workstations) and “multi-component interventions” to have the most promising impact on reducing sedentary behaviour in the office-based workplace. The analysis of moderators showed interventions with a focus on “environmental restructuring”, “adding objects to the environment” and “instructions on how to carry out the behaviour” to be associated with positive intervention outcomes. Furthermore, studies focusing on sedentary behaviour only and objectively measured studies demonstrated the most promising intervention effects.

Source: Gesundheitswesen. 

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