Patterns of impact resulting from a ‘sit less, move more’ web-based programme in sedentary office employees

Encouraging office workers to ‘sit less and move more’ encompasses two public health priorities. However, there is little evidence on the effectiveness of workplace interventions for reducing sitting, even less about the longer term effects of such interventions and still less on dual-focused interventions. This study assessed the short and mid-term impacts of a workplace web-based intervention (Walk@WorkSpain, W@WS; 2010-11) on self-reported sitting time, step counts and physical risk factors (waist circumference, BMI, blood pressure) for chronic disease. Employees at six Spanish university campuses (n=264; 42±10 years; 171 female) were randomly assigned by worksite and campus to an Intervention (used W@WS; n=129; 87 female) or a Comparison group (maintained normal behaviour; n=135; 84 female). This phased, 19-week programme aimed to decrease occupational sitting time through increased incidental movement and short walks. A linear mixed model assessed changes in outcome measures between the baseline, ramping (8 weeks), maintenance (11 weeks) and follow-up (two months) phases for Intervention versus Comparison groups. A significant 2 (group) × 2 (programme phases) interaction was found for self-reported occupational sitting (F[3]=7.97, p=0.046), daily step counts (F[3]=15.68, p=0.0013) and waist circumference (F[3]=11.67, p=0.0086). The Intervention group decreased minutes of daily occupational sitting while also increasing step counts from baseline (446±126; 8,862±2,475) through ramping (+425±120; 9,345±2,435), maintenance (+422±123; 9,638±3,131) and follow-up (+414±129; 9,786±3,205). In the Comparison group, compared to baseline (404±106), sitting time remained unchanged through ramping and maintenance, but decreased at follow-up (-388±120), while step counts diminished across all phases. The Intervention group significantly reduced waist circumference by 2.1cms from baseline to follow-up while the Comparison group reduced waist circumference by 1.3cms over the same period. The authors concluded that W@WS is a feasible and effective evidence-based intervention that can be successfully deployed with sedentary employees to elicit sustained changes on “sitting less and moving more”.

Authors: Puig-Ribera A, Bort-Roig J, González-Suárez AM(2), Martínez-Lemos I, Giné-Garriga M, Fortuño J, Martori JC, Muñoz-Ortiz L, Milà R, McKenna J, Gilson ND. ;PLoS One. 2015 Apr 1;10(4):e0122474. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122474. eCollection 2015. ;