Organizational-level strategies with or without an activity tracker to reduce office workers' sitting time: Rationale and study design of a pilot cluster-randomized trial
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Background: The office workplace is a key setting in which to address excessive sitting time and inadequate physical activity. One major influence on workplace sitting is the organizational environment. However, the impact of organizational-level strategies on individual level activity change is unknown. Further, the emergence of sophisticated, consumer-targeted wearable activity trackers that facilitate real-time self-monitoring of activity, may be a useful adjunct to support organizational-level strategies, but to date have received little evaluation in this workplace setting. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of organizational-level strategies with or without an activity tracker on sitting, standing, and stepping in office workers in the short (3 months, primary aim) and long-term (12 months, secondary aim). Methods: This study is a pilot, cluster-randomized trial (with work teams as the unit of clustering) of two interventions in office workers: organizational-level support strategies (eg, visible management support, emails) or organizational-level strategies plus the use of a waist-worn activity tracker (the LUMOback) that enables self-monitoring of sitting, standing, and stepping time and enables users to set sitting and posture alerts. The key intervention message is to ‘Stand Up, Sit Less, and Move More.’ Intervention elements will be implemented from within the organization by the Head of Workplace Wellbeing. Participants will be recruited via email and enrolled face-to-face. Assessments will occur at baseline, 3, and 12 months. Time spent sitting, sitting in prolonged (≥30 minute) bouts, standing, and stepping during work hours and across the day will be measured with activPAL3 activity monitors (7 days, 24 hours/day protocol), with total sitting time and sitting time during work hours the primary outcomes. Web-based questionnaires, LUMOback recorded data, telephone interviews, and focus groups will measure the feasibility and acceptability of both interventions and potential predictors of behavior change. Results: Baseline and follow-up data collection has finished. Results are expected in 2016. Conclusions: This pilot, cluster-randomized trial will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of two interventions targeting reductions in sitting and increases in standing and stepping in office workers. Few studies have evaluated these intervention strategies and this study has the potential to contribute both short and long-term findings.
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