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Michael Chia1, Bokai Chen1, Haresh Suppiah1

1Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, Physical Education and Sports Science, Singapore, Singapore

Office Sitting Made Less Sedentary – A Future-forward Approach to Reducing Physical Inactivity at Work

Abstract

Excessive sitting is detrimentally associated with major lifestyle diseases. Attempts at intervening the prolonged sitting time at work offer possibilities for a healthier lifestyle. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of using a seat-cycle (S-C) compared to the office-chair (O-C) in reducing prolonged sitting in the office. Twenty-one (mean age = 48±12.4 years) office workers (10 men and 11 women; mean BMI = 24.1±4.6 kg/m͘͘²) volunteered to participate in an 11-week crossover design study. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups- each started with different conditions: the office-chair (O-C) or the seat-cycle (S-C) intervention for 4 weeks with a 2-week ‘washout’ period in-between before switching over. Self-reported sleep quality, lower back pain, daytime sleepiness and several anthropometric measurements were obtained under the two conditions. Participants spent on average 5.79±1.51 hrs sitting in the office, and used the seat-cycle for an average of 22.8 minutes daily at work. Significant improvements (p<0.05) were noted in a pre-to-post setting for resting systolic blood pressure (124.9±12.57 mmHg vs 120.5±13.56 mmHg); sleepiness ratings between 1300–1400 hrs (1.91±0.71 vs 1.56±0.57); lower back pain score (0.95±1.02 vs 0.57±0.68) and sleep quality (4.81±2.16 vs 3.38±2.04) after the S-C intervention. The use of the S-C provides desk-bound workers a potential way to interrupt prolonged sitting at work and further research is recommended to support such interventions at the workplace.

Keywords

sedentary office workers, prolonged sitting, workplace intervention

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