Australian office workers' response to sedentary behaviour messaging

Janine Chapman, Chloe Fletcher, Nadia Corsini, Georgina de Cure

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Purpose: To provide insight into how office workers respond to sedentary health messages following the introduction of the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. Design/methodology/approach: Via online survey, office workers (n = 185) reported awareness of the Guidelines and sedentary risk, availability of workplace movement-based initiatives, and measures of sitting time, intention, self-efficacy, and perceived barriers to sedentary behaviour. Participants then viewed one of two brief messages (“Occupational Risk” or “Strategies”); indicated their message receptivity and provided written recommendations. Participants who consented to a second survey (n = 126) completed sitting time and psychological measures again after four weeks. Findings: Only 23% were aware of the Guidelines; willingness to follow public health guidance was mixed. Barriers to adoption were apparent for existing initiatives. Message receptivity was high for both messages. For the follow-up survey, an improvement in psychological variables and workplace sitting was reported in those who viewed the Occupational Risk compared to the Strategies message. Qualitative analysis revealed lack of organisational support and called for increased employer responsibility. Research limitations/implications: As participants self-selected into the study, the sample may be more health-conscious than the typical office worker. Practical implications: Workers are receptive to brief messages and the Occupational Risk message showed promise in promoting change. However, sedentary exposure is viewed as an organisational-level issue. A “whole of workplace” approach is needed with co-designed strategies tailored to the culture and working practices within the organisation. Originality/value: This study offers insight into avenues for improving the management of prolonged sitting and workplace sedentary behaviour.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-202
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
    Volume13
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

    Keywords

    • Health behaviour
    • Health risk behaviours
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Workplace

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