Recently research has found that sedentary behaviour has substantial impact on health and wellbeing, e.g. on the risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease. However studies indicate that the harmful effects could be reduced through breaking sedentary time by short intervals of standing or walking.
46 % of all Danes are working in sedentary occupations and the workplace is thus a very relevant setting to intervene against sedentary behaviour.
The main objective of Take a Stand! is to reduce the amount of sitting time during working hours, to reduce the number of prolonged sitting periods (>30 min) and increase number of breaks in sitting time among workers with sedentary jobs. Secondary we want to test whether the intervention increases well-being among workers.
Design and participants
Participants were 317 adults with sedentary office-based work. The study was a cluster-randomized control study at four worksites in Denmark and Greenland. Each worksite consisted of at least four independent sections (clusters) of about equal size. Those four sections were randomized to intervention or control.
The control group was a waiting list group and receive the intervention after the last follow-up (3 months later.
The intervention programme included five components:
1. Appointment of ambassadors and management support: Each office appointed an ambassador to provide social support and managers agreed to act as role models.
2. Environmental changes: Each intervention office installed high meeting tables in meeting rooms, offices and corridors. Additionally, routes for walking meetings were defined. All participants had sit-stand tables prior to the project.
3. Lecture: Aimed at increasing participants’ knowledge of sedentary behaviour and health. The lecture lasted 15 minutes and was given at the start of the workshop (described below).
4. Workshop: Aimed at ensuring local adaptation at individual, office and workplace level. The workshop was conducted once at each workplace and was held during work hours by two of the researchers. Participants were guided through four strategies: using a sit-stand desk, breaking up prolonged periods of sitting, having standing and walking meetings, and setting common goals at office level. Participants made personal and common goals relating to each of the four strategies.
5. E-mails and text messages: Participants could volunteer to receive weekly e-mails and/or twice-weekly text messages during the intervention period.
Data on sedentary behaviour was collected objectively using accelerometers. Questionnaire data was collected on background variables, physical activity level and well-being. Data collection took place at baseline and after one and three months.
Spring 2013: Validation of questionnaire
Autumn 2013: Pilot study
Winter 2013: Baseline measures
Winter-summer 2013-14: Intervention period
Spring-summer 2014: Follow-up measures
Spring-summer 2014: Process evaluation
Summer 2014: Intervention in control group
Autumn 2014-2015: Dataprocessing and analysis