An intervention to reduce sitting time in office workers: baseline characteristics of participants in the Stand Up Victoria study (#160)
Introduction Excessive sitting is a health risk linked to obesity and cardio-metabolic morbidity, with workplaces a key setting for accumulating sitting time. The aim of Stand Up Victoria (SUV) is to therefore reduce prolonged sitting in office workers via a multi-faceted intervention, with the key messages of “Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More” Herein we report baseline characteristics of participants in the trial.
Methods In a cluster randomised design, office workers from the one organisation were recruited from the respective worksites that had been randomised to either intervention or control. Inclinometers (activPAL3; worn continuously for seven days) and diaries were used to objectively measure overall sitting time, prolonged sitting time (bouts ≥30 min), standing time, and stepping time at baseline.
Baseline results from 197 participants across 13 worksites were analysed. On average, participants were 46 years old (SD=9.6), predominantly female (71%), Caucasian (80%), with 38% having attained tertiary education. They were overweight with an average BMI of 28 kg/m2 (SD=4.5), and waist circumferences 98.5 cm (SD=12.8) for males and 91 cm (SD=15) for females. On average, participants worked 4.3days/week and 8.2 hours/workday. Mean (SD) workplace time spent sitting, standing and stepping was: 6.6 hrs (1.19), 1.24 hrs (0.8) and 0.57 hrs (0.25) respectively. Notably, prolonged sitting (in bouts ≥30 min) represented 3.6 hrs (1.7) of the total workday. No significant differences were seen between intervention and control groups for any of the above variables at baseline.
Baseline data from the Stand Up Victoria study show that for office workers, sitting accounts for the major proportion of time at the workplace and much of this is in unbroken, prolonged bouts. The next step for the Stand Up Victoria study is to examine the efficacy of the intervention at 3 and 12 months and the impact on various cardio-metabolic biomarkers.