University Of Tasmania
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A pilot study of increasing nonpurposeful movement breaks at work as a means of reducing prolonged sitting

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posted on 2023-05-17, 17:27 authored by Paul CooleyPaul Cooley, Scott PedersenScott Pedersen
There is a plethora of workplace physical activity interventions designed to increase purposeful movement, yet few are designed to alleviate prolonged occupational sitting time. A pilot study was conducted to test the feasibility of a workplace e-health intervention based on a passive approach to increase nonpurposeful movement as a means of reducing sitting time. The study was trialled in a professional workplace with forty-six participants (33 females and 13 males) for a period of twenty-six weeks. Participants in the first thirteen weeks received a passive prompt every 45 minutes on their computer screen reminding them to stand and engage in nonpurposeful activity throughout their workday. After thirteen weeks, the prompt was disabled, and participants were then free to voluntary engage the software. Results demonstrated that when employees were exposed to a passive prompt, as opposed to an active prompt, they were five times more likely to fully adhere to completing a movement break every hour of the workday. Based on this pilot study, we suggest that the notion that people are willing to participate in a coercive workplace e-health intervention is promising, and there is a need for further investigation


Publication title

Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health



Article number









Faculty of Education


Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Place of publication

Basel, Switzerland

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Preventive medicine

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