Prolonged sedentary time and physical activity in workplace and non-work contexts: a cross-sectional study of office, customer service and call centre employees

Thorp, Alicia A., Healy, Genevieve N., Winkler, Elisabeth, Clark, Bronwyn K., Gardiner, Paul A., Owen, Neville and Dunstan, David W. (2012) Prolonged sedentary time and physical activity in workplace and non-work contexts: a cross-sectional study of office, customer service and call centre employees. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9 . doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-128


Author Thorp, Alicia A.
Healy, Genevieve N.
Winkler, Elisabeth
Clark, Bronwyn K.
Gardiner, Paul A.
Owen, Neville
Dunstan, David W.
Title Prolonged sedentary time and physical activity in workplace and non-work contexts: a cross-sectional study of office, customer service and call centre employees
Journal name International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1479-5868
Publication date 2012-10-26
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-9-128
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Total pages 18
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: To examine sedentary time, prolonged sedentary bouts and physical activity in Australian employees from different workplace settings, within work and non-work contexts.

Methods: A convenience sample of 193 employees working in offices (131), call centres (36) and customer service (26) was recruited. Actigraph GT1M accelerometers were used to derive percentages of time spent sedentary (<100 counts per minute; cpm), in prolonged sedentary bouts (>=20 minutes or >=30 minutes), light-intensity activity (100--1951 cpm) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; >=1952 cpm). Using mixed models adjusted for confounders, these were compared for: work days versus non-work days; work hours versus non-work hours (work days only); and, across workplace settings.

Results: Working hours were mostly spent sedentary (77.0%, 95%CI: 76.3, 77.6), with approximately half of this time accumulated in prolonged bouts of 20 minutes or more. There were significant (p<0.05) differences in all outcomes between workdays and non-work days, and, on workdays, between work- versus non-work hours. Results consistently showed "work" was more sedentary and had less light-intensity activity, than "non-work". The period immediately after work appeared important for MVPA. There were significant (p<0.05) differences in all sedentary and activity outcomes occurring during work hours across the workplace settings. Call-centre workers were generally the most sedentary and least physically active at work; customer service workers were typically the least sedentary and the most active at work.

Conclusion: The workplace is a key setting for prolonged sedentary time, especially for some occupational groups, and the potential health risk burden attached requires investigation. Future workplace regulations and health promotion initiatives for sedentary occupations to reduce prolonged sitting time should be considered.
Keyword Occupational sitting
Active time
Workers
Leisure-time
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 04 Jan 2013, 10:32:03 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health