University Of Tasmania

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An e-health intervention designed to increase workday energy expenditure by reducing prolonged occupational sitting habits

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 20:36 authored by Scott PedersenScott Pedersen, Paul CooleyPaul Cooley, Casey MainsbridgeCasey Mainsbridge

Background: Desk-based employees face multiple workplace health hazards such as insufficient physical activity and prolonged sitting.

Objective: The objective of this study was to increase workday energy expenditure by interrupting prolonged occupational sitting time and introducing short-bursts of physical activity to employees' daily work habits.

Methods: Over a 13-week period participants (n = 17) in the intervention group were regularly exposed to a passive prompt delivered through their desktop computer that required them to stand up and engage in a short-burst of physical activity, while the control group (n = 17) was not exposed to this intervention. Instead, the control group continued with their normal work routine. All participants completed a pre- and post- intervention survey to estimate workplace daily energy expenditure (calories).

Results: There was a significant 2 (Group) × 2 (Test) interaction, F (1, 32) = 9.26, p < 0.05. The intervention group increased the calories expended during the workday from pre-test (M = 866.29 ± 151.40) to post-test (M = 1054.10 ± 393.24), whereas the control group decreased calories expended during the workday from pre-test (M = 982.55 ± 315.66) to post-test (M = 892.21 ± 255.36).

Conclusions: An e-health intervention using a passive prompt was an effective mechanism for increasing employee work-related energy expenditure. Engaging employees in regular short-bursts of physical activity during the workday resulted in reduced sitting time, which may have long-term effects on the improvement of employee health.


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Faculty of Education


IOS Press

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Copyright 2013 IOS Press and the authors

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Socio-economic Objectives

Workforce transition and employment