SMART Work and Life Intervention Reduces Sitting Time for Office Workers

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Greater reduction in sitting time and increase in standing time seen with SWAL intervention plus height-adjustable desk

FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — An intervention can reduce sitting time at work, with greater improvement with the use of a height-adjustable desk, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in The BMJ.

Charlotte L. Edwardson, Ph.D., from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a three-arm randomized controlled trial with follow-up at three and 12 months involving 756 desk-based employees in 78 clusters. Clusters were randomly assigned to the SMART Work and Life (SWAL) intervention, the SWAL intervention with a height-adjustable desk (SWAL plus desk), or usual practice (control).

The researchers found that at 12 months, daily sitting time was significantly lower in the intervention groups than the control group (−22.2 and −63.7 min/day with SWAL and SWAL plus desk, respectively). For changing sitting time, the SWAL-plus-desk intervention was more effective than the SWAL intervention (−41.7 min/day). During work hours and on workdays, favorable differences in sitting and prolonged sitting time were seen at three- and 12-month follow-ups in both intervention groups and in standing time for the SWAL-plus-desk group. Small improvements in stress, well-being, and vigor were seen in both intervention groups, while the SWAL-plus-desk group had improvements in pain in the lower extremity, social norms for sitting and standing at work, and support.

“Both intervention groups (SWAL with and without a desk) sat less than the control group (usual practice) in the short and medium term; furthermore, those receiving the height-adjustable desk alongside the intervention sat less than those receiving the intervention only,” the authors write.

One author is coinventor of the activPAL3 physical activity monitor and a director of PAL Technologies.

Abstract/Full Text


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