Occupational sitting time: Employees' perceptions of health risks and intervention strategies

Gilson, Nicholas D., Burton, Nicola W., van Uffelen, Jannique G. Z. and Brown, Wendy J. (2011) Occupational sitting time: Employees' perceptions of health risks and intervention strategies. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 22 1: 38-43.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Gilson, Nicholas D.
Burton, Nicola W.
van Uffelen, Jannique G. Z.
Brown, Wendy J.
Title Occupational sitting time: Employees' perceptions of health risks and intervention strategies
Journal name Health Promotion Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1036-1073
Publication date 2011-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 22
Issue 1
Start page 38
End page 43
Total pages 6
Place of publication Maroochydore, QLD, Australia
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Issue addressed: There is increasing interest in the potential association between sedentary behaviour and poor health. This study examined office-based employees’ perceptions of the health risks associated with prolonged sitting at work, and strategies to interrupt and reduce occupational sitting time.
Methods: Four focus groups were conducted with a convenience sample of Australian government personnel (20 women and two men). Open-ended questions concerning health risks and sitting reduction strategies were posed by lead researchers and focus group participants invited to express opinions, viewpoints and experiences. Audio recordings and summary notes of focus group discussions were reviewed by researchers to identify key response themes.
Results: Employees associated prolonged occupational sitting with poor health, primarily in terms of musculoskeletal issues, fatigue and de-motivation. This risk was seen as independent of physical activity. Workplace interventions tailored to occupational roles were viewed as important and considered to be the joint responsibility of individuals and organisations. Strategies included workload planning
(interspersing sedentary and non-sedentary tasks), environmental change (e.g. stairwell access, printers away from desks), work tasks on the move (e.g. walking meetings) and purposive physical activity (e.g. periodic breaks, exercise/walking groups). The perception that these strategies would compromise productivity was identified as the primary barrier to implementation; team leaders were subsequently
considered vital in enabling integration and acceptance of strategies into everyday workplace practices.
Conclusions: Prolonged occupational sitting was perceived as detrimental to health. Suggested strategies targeted individuals, workplaces, organisations and environments.
Keyword Occupational sitting
Office employees
Health risks
Intervention strategies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Sun, 24 Jul 2011, 14:03:20 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences