Citation Gilson ND, Ng N, Pavey TG, Ryde G, Straker L & Brown WJ (2016) Project Energise: Using participatory approaches and real time computer prompts to reduce occupational sitting and increase work time physical activity in office workers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19 (11), pp. 926-930. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.01.009
This efficacy study assessed the added impact real time computer prompts had on a participatory approach to reduce occupational sedentary exposure and increase physical activity.
Methods 57 Australian office workers (mean [SD]; age=47  years; BMI=28 kg/m2; 46 men) generated a menu of 20 occupational ‘sit less and move more’ strategies through participatory workshops, and were then tasked with implementing strategies for five months (July–November 2014). During implementation, a sub-sample of workers (n=24) used a chair sensor/software package (Sitting Pad) that gave real time prompts to interrupt desk sitting. Baseline and intervention sedentary behaviour and physical activity (GENEActiv accelerometer; mean work time percentages), and minutes spent sitting at desks (Sitting Pad; mean total time and longest bout) were compared between non-prompt and prompt workers using a two-way ANOVA.
Workers spent close to three quarters of their work time sedentary, mostly sitting at desks (mean [SD]; total desk sitting time=371 min/day; longest bout spent desk sitting=104 min/day). Intervention effects were four times greater in workers who used real time computer prompts (8% decrease in work time sedentary behaviour and increase in light intensity physical activity;p<0.01). Respective mean differences between baseline and intervention total time spent sitting at desks, and the longest bout spent desk sitting, were 23 and 32min/day lower in prompt than in non-prompt workers (p<0.01).
In this sample of office workers, real time computer prompts facilitated the impact of a participatory approach on reductions in occupational sedentary exposure, and increases in physical activity.