Consistency of Sedentary Behavior Patterns among Office Workers with Long-Term Access to Sit-Stand Workstations
Huysmans, Maaike A.
Mathiassen, Svend Erik
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Introduction: Sit-stand workstations are a popular intervention to reduce sedentary behavior (SB) in office settings. However, the extent and distribution of SB in office workers long-term accustomed to using sit-stand workstations as a natural part of their work environment are largely unknown. In the present study, we aimed to describe patterns of SB in office workers with long-term access to sit-stand workstations and to determine the extent to which these patterns vary between days and workers. Methods: SB was objectively monitored using thigh-worn accelerometers for a full week in 24 office workers who had been equipped with a sit-stand workstation for at least 10 months. A comprehensive set of variables describing SB was calculated for each workday and worker, and distributions of these variables between days and workers were examined. Results: On average, workers spent 68% work time sitting [standard deviation (SD) between workers and between days (within worker): 10.4 and 18.2%]; workers changed from sitting to standing/ walking 3.2 times per hour (SDs 0.6 and 1.2 h−1); with bouts of sitting being 14.9 min long (SDs 4.2 and 8.5 min). About one-third of the workers spent >75% of their workday sitting. Between-workers variability was significantly different from zero only for percent work time sitting, while betweendays (within-worker) variability was substantial for all SB variables. Conclusions: Office workers accustomed to using sit-stand workstations showed homogeneous patterns of SB when averaged across several days, except for percent work time seated. However, SB differed substantially between days for any individual worker. The finding that many workers were extensively sedentary suggests that just access to sit-stand workstations may not be a sufficient remedy against SB; additional personalized interventions reinforcing use may be needed. To this end, differences in SB between days should be acknowledged as a potentially valuable source of variation.