Thesis sheds light on strategies to increase light intensity activity in the office-based workplace

With prolonged sitting posing a major threat to the health of office-based workers, a recent Master thesis set out to investigate strategies that could be used by organisations to counteract sedentary behaviour and enhance light intensity activity (standing and light movement) while at work. The thesis identified 148 strategies that allow both the employer and employee to realistically achieve recommendations to move more and sit less. Through analysis, identified strategies were categorised into distinct levels of workplace operation (individual, social, environmental, organisational, policy). Strategies were then classified under specific intervention functions and policy categories. To complement the inventory of strategies, an ecological workplace model was created to support sustainable strategy occurrence. The model acknowledges four domains that serve as facilitators towards the engagement and maintenance of light intensity activity at work: structured breaks, unstructured breaks, structured working periods, unstructured working periods. Placing focus on structured and unstructured periods of light intensity activity while working (e.g. planned or spontaneous standing meetings) could be attractive for organisations, as work productivity is not disrupted. Conclusions state that the derived inventory of strategies could be practical for both researchers and organisations when developing tailored solutions to increase levels of light intensity activity at work. By utilising a range of strategies complete with distinguished levels and functions, cost-effective interventions could be devised to benefit the long-term health of office-based workers and the organisation as a whole.

About the author: Lee Goodwin, M.A., is a research associate working at the Institute of Sport Science and Sport, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Through his engagement in physical activity-related projects on the European level, Lee is passionate about supporting workplaces across Europe in moving more and sitting less.

To view Lee’s research in full, please visit the Friedrich-Alexander University Library OPUS under: https://opus4.kobv.de/opus4-fau/frontdoor/index/index/docId/8327

 

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