Background: Long periods of sedentary work are associated with several health risks. Various intervention strategies addressing patterns of sedentary behavior at the workplace were reviewed and showed heterogeneous results.
Aim: The aim of the following review is to summarize existing knowledge related to the effectiveness of the interventions and to discuss further research needs.
Methods: Relevant reviews were systematically searched in PubMed, Sportdiscus and PsycInfo. Intervention strategies were classified and described concerning their effect on sitting patterns, energy consumption as well as parameters related to health.
Results: Many findings exist in relation to interventions addressing the working environment. Adjustable position work stations can reduce sitting times for up to approximately 2 h per working day; however, they rarely influence energy consumption in contrast to dynamic workplaces, such as treadmill desks. Dynamic workplaces may be associated with restrictions in work performance. Taking the reduction of sitting time into account, interventions addressing the work environment and multicomponent interventions are more successful than interventions addressing the individual.
Discussion: There is a need for more interventional studies with high quality and longer follow-up times to test the sustainability. Current studies do not sufficiently answer the question whether changes in sitting behavior are accompanied by changes in physiological parameters, such as body mass index and blood pressure. Thus, it is not possible to estimate which strategy is potentially the most successful in relation to the benefit for health.
This article is published in the Journal "Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie" (2019).
First Online: 14 June 2018
Please download the article "Interventions at the workplace that stimulate changes in sitting behavior" (in German only).
E.-M. Backé, L. Kreis, U. Latza:
Interventionen am Arbeitsplatz, die zur Veränderung des Sitzverhaltens anregen.
in: Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Volume 69, Issue 1 2019. pages 1-10, Project number: F 2399, DOI: 10.1007/s40664-018-0284-7
© Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health