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Dinesh John, Dixie L. Thompson, Hollie Raynor, Kenneth Bielak, Bob Rider and David R. Bassett

Purpose:

To determine if a treadmill-workstation (TMWS) increases physical activity (PA) and influences anthropometric, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables in overweight and obese office-workers.

Methods:

Twelve (mean age= 46.2 ± 9.2 years) overweight/obese sedentary office-workers (mean BMI= 33.9 ± 5.0 kg·m-2) volunteered to participate in this 9-month study. After baseline measurements of postural allocation, steps per day, anthropometric variables, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables, TMWS were installed in the participants’ offices for their use. Baseline measurements were repeated after 3 and 9 months. Comparisons of the outcome variables were made using repeated-measures ANOVAs or nonparametric Friedman’s Rank Tests.

Results:

Between baseline and 9 months, significant increases were seen in the median standing (146−203 min·day-1) and stepping time (52−90 min·day-1) and total steps/day (4351−7080 steps/day; P < .05). Correspondingly, the median time spent sitting/lying decreased (1238−1150 min·day-1; P < .05). Using the TMWS significantly reduced waist (by 5.5 cm) and hip circumference (by 4.8 cm), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) (by 16 mg·dL-1), and total cholesterol (by 15 mg·dL-1) during the study (P < .05).

Conclusion:

The additional PA energy expenditure from using the TMWS favorably influenced waist and hip circumferences and lipid and metabolic profiles in overweight and obese office-workers.

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Stine Kloster, Ida Høgstedt Danquah, Andreas Holtermann, Mette Aadahl and Janne Schurmann Tolstrup

Background:

Harmful health effects associated with sedentary behavior may be attenuated by breaking up long periods of sitting by standing or walking. However, studies assess interruptions in sitting time differently, making comparisons between studies difficult. It has not previously been described how the definition of minimum break duration affects sitting outcomes. Therefore, the aim was to address how definitions of break length affect total sitting time, number of sit-to-stand transitions, prolonged sitting periods and time accumulated in prolonged sitting periods among office workers.

Methods:

Data were collected from 317 office workers. Thigh position was assessed with an ActiGraph GT3X+ fixed on the right thigh. Data were exported with varying bout length of breaks. Afterward, sitting outcomes were calculated for the respective break lengths.

Results:

Absolute numbers of sit-to-stand transitions decreased, and number of prolonged sitting periods and total time accumulated in prolonged sitting periods increased, with increasing minimum break length. Total sitting time was not influenced by varying break length.

Conclusions:

The definition of minimum break length influenced the sitting outcomes with the exception of total sitting time. A standard definition of break length is needed for comparison and interpretation of studies in the evolving research field of sedentary behavior.

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Brittany T. MacEwen, Travis J. Saunders, Dany J. MacDonald and Jamie F. Burr

Background:

Sit-stand desks reduce workplace sitting time among healthy office workers; however, their metabolic and behavioral impact in higher risk populations remains unknown.

Methods:

25 office workers with abdominal obesity were randomized to an intervention (sit-stand workstation) or control group (seated desk) for 12 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed before and after the intervention period in both groups.

Results:

In comparison with the control group, which did not change, the intervention group experienced significant reductions in workday (344 ± 107 to 186 ± 101 min/day) and total (645 ± 140 to 528 ± 91 min/day) sitting time, as well as increases in workday standing time (154 ± 108 to 301 ± 101 min/day, P < .05). There were no changes in sitting or standing time outside of work hours, steps taken each day, or any marker of cardiometabolic risk in either group (all P > .05).

Conclusion:

Sit-stand desks were effective in reducing workplace sedentary behavior in an at-risk population, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours. However, these changes were not sufficient to improve markers of cardiometabolic risk in this population.

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Alicia Ann Thorp, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Coralie English, Louise Hammond, Parneet Sethi, Neville Owen and David W. Dunstan

Background:

To determine whether alternating bouts of sitting and standing at work influences daily workplace energy expenditure (EE).

Methods:

Twenty-three overweight/obese office workers (mean ± SD; age: 48.2 ± 7.9 y, body mass index: 29.6 ± 4.0 kg/m2) undertook two 5-day experimental conditions in an equal, randomized order. Participants wore a “metabolic armband” (SenseWear Armband Mini) to estimate daily workplace EE (KJ/8 h) while working (1) in a seated work posture (SIT condition) or (2) alternating between a standing and seated work posture every 30 minutes using a sit-stand workstation (STAND-SIT condition). To assess the validity of the metabolic armband, a criterion measure of acute EE (KJ/min; indirect calorimetry) was performed on day 4 of each condition.

Results:

Standing to work acutely increased EE by 0.7 [95% CI 0.3–1.0] KJ/min (13%), relative to sitting (P = .002). Compared with indirect calorimetry, the metabolic armband provided a valid estimate of EE while standing to work (mean bias: 0.1 [–0.3 to 0.4] KJ/min) but modestly overestimated EE while sitting (P = .005). Daily workplace EE was greatest during the STAND-SIT condition (mean condition difference [95% CI]: 76 [8–144] KJ/8-h workday, P = .03).

Conclusions:

Intermittent standing at work can modestly increase daily workplace EE compared with seated work in overweight/obese office workers.

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Joyan L. Urda, Jeffrey S. Lynn, Andrea Gorman and Beth Larouere

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether an alert to get up once per hour while at work would reduce sitting time, increase sit-to-stand transitions, and improve perceived wellness in women with sedentary jobs.

Methods:

Female university staff and administrators (48 ± 10 years) were randomly assigned to control-control (CC) (n = 22) or control-intervention (CI) (n = 22) groups. Both used a thigh-worn postural-based activity monitor for 2 weeks. The CC group maintained normal behaviors, whereas the CI group maintained behaviors during control week, but received hourly alerts on their computer during work hours in the intervention week. Time sitting and sit-to-stand transitions during an 8.5-hour workday were examined. A perceived wellness survey was completed at baseline and after the control and intervention weeks.

Results:

Among all participants (N = 44) during the control week, 68% of the workday was spent sitting and 41 sit-to-stand transitions occurred. An analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant differences in variables over time (P > .05). There was a significant increase in perceived wellness from baseline in both groups (P ≤ .05). Perceived wellness showed no statistically significant difference between groups.

Conclusions:

The intervention had no statistically significant effect on sitting time or sit-to-stand transitions. Participation improved perceived wellness in the absence of behavior change.

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Nicholas D. Gilson, Caitlin Hall, Angela Renton, Norman Ng and William von Hippel

sedentary exposure brought about through job tasks that require prolonged periods of sitting. 3 Office workers are one of the most sedentary occupational groups. 4 Accelerometer studies have shown that these types of employees spend between 4 and 7 hours per day sitting at work, 5 mostly at desks

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James E. Peterman, Kalee L. Morris, Rodger Kram and William C. Byrnes

intervention group provided a control comparison to reduce the limitations associated with a pre/post study design (eg, placebo and/or Hawthorne effects). Office workers were recruited from the University of Colorado Boulder faculty and staff using departmental e-mail newsletters. Potential participants

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Danielle R. Bouchard, Shaelyn Strachan, Leslie Johnson, Fiona Moola, Radhika Chitkara, Diana McMillan, Semone Myrie and Gordon Giesbrecht

Objective:

Our objective was to test the feasibility of sharing treadmill workstations among office workers to reduce time spent at low intensity and explore changes in health outcomes after a 3-month intervention.

Methods:

Twenty-two office workers were asked to walk 2 hours per shift on a shared treadmill workstation for 3 months. Physical activity levels (ie, low, light, moderate, and vigorous), health-related measures (eg, sleep, blood pressure), treadmill usage information, and questions regarding participants’ expectation and experiences were collected.

Results:

Physical activity time at low intensity during workdays was reduced by 20.1% (P = .007) in the 71% of participants completing the study. Participants were 70% confident that they would keep using the treadmill workstations. Interestingly, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and sleep quality scores were significantly improved (P < .05).

Conclusions:

The use of such equipment to replace a few hours of sitting is feasible and might offer important health benefits.

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Leon Straker, Amity Campbell, Svend Erik Mathiassen, Rebecca Anne Abbott, Sharon Parry and Paul Davey

Background:

Capturing the complex time pattern of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) using accelerometry remains a challenge. Research from occupational health suggests exposure variation analysis (EVA) could provide a meaningful tool. This paper (1) explains the application of EVA to accelerometer data, (2) demonstrates how EVA thresholds and derivatives could be chosen and used to examine adherence to PA and SB guidelines, and (3) explores the validity of EVA outputs.

Methods:

EVA outputs are compared with accelerometer data from 4 individuals (Study 1a and1b) and 3 occupational groups (Study 2): seated workstation office workers (n = 8), standing workstation office workers (n = 8), and teachers (n = 8).

Results:

Line graphs and related EVA graphs highlight the use of EVA derivatives for examining compliance with guidelines. EVA derivatives of occupational groups confirm no difference in bouts of activity but clear differences as expected in extended bouts of SB and brief bursts of activity, thus providing evidence of construct validity.

Conclusions:

EVA offers a unique and comprehensive generic method that is able, for the first time, to capture the time pattern (both frequency and intensity) of PA and SB, which can be tailored for both occupational and public health research.

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Mohamad Al-Tannir, Samer Kobrosly, Taha Itani, Mariam El-Rajab and Sawsan Tannir

Background:

This survey aims to assess the prevalence of physical activity among adult Lebanese, and to report the relationship between sociodemographic variables and physical activity behavior, highlighting the correlates discouraging people to carry out physical activity.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study using an anonymous self-reported questionnaire was conducted on 346 adults from four Lebanese districts. Demographic characteristics, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and medical history were obtained.

Results:

Prevalence of physical activity among Lebanese adults was 55.5% (192/346). Age, BMI, marital status, medical history, occupation, educational level, and smoking were significantly associated with physical activity (P < .05). Inactive obese participants were about three times more likely to report hypertension and diabetes than inactive normal weight participants (P = .013). BMI was significantly higher among inactive participants (P = .014).

Conclusion:

Physical activity among Lebanese adults was comparable to other populations. Married, non–office workers, and smokers were the main correlates of physical inactivity in Lebanese adulthood.