Theory-driven, web-based, computer-tailored advice to reduce and interrupt sitting at work: development, feasibility and acceptability testing among employeesReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 15:959

First Online: 24 September 2015Received: 17 June 2015Accepted: 15 September 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12889-015-2288-y

Cite this article as: De Cocker, K., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Cardon, G. et al. BMC Public Health 2015 15: 959. doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2288-y


BackgroundBecause of the adverse health effects in adults, interventions to influence workplace sitting, a large contributor to overall daily sedentary time, are needed. Computer-tailored interventions have demonstrated good outcomes in other health behaviours, though few have targeted sitting time at work. Therefore, the present aims were to 1 describe the development of a theory-driven, web-based, computer-tailored advice to influence sitting at work, 2 report on the feasibility of reaching employees, and 3 report on the acceptability of the advice.

MethodsEmployees from a public city service n = 179 were invited by e-mail to participate. Employees interested to request the advice n = 112 were sent the website link, a personal login and password. The online advice was based on different aspects of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Self-Determination Theory and Self-Regulation Theory. Logistic regressions were conducted to compare characteristics gender, age, education, employment status, amount of sitting and psychosocial correlates of workplace sitting of employees requesting the advice n = 90, 80.4 % with those who did not. Two weeks after visiting the website, 47 employees 52.2 % completed an online acceptability questionnaire.

ResultsThose with a high education were more likely to request the advice than those with a low education OR = 2.4, CI = 1.0-5.8, and those with a part-time job were more likely to request the advice compared to full-time employees OR = 2.9, CI = 1.2-7.1. The majority found the advice interesting n = 36-47, 76.6 %, relevant n = 33-47, 70.2 % and motivating n = 29-47, 61.7 %. Fewer employees believed the advice was practicable n = 15-47, 31.9 %. After completing the advice, 58.0 % n = 25-43 reported to have started interrupting their sitting and 32.6 % n = 17-43 additionally intended to do so; 14.0 % n = 6-43 reported to have reduced their sitting and another 51.2 % n = 22-43 intended to do so.

DiscussionMore efforts are needed to reach lower educated and full-time workers. Further research should examinethe effects of this intervention in a rigorous randomised controlled trial.

ConclusionsIt is feasible to reach employees with this tool. Most of the employees who requested the advice found itacceptable and reported they changed their behaviour or intended to change it. Interrupting sittingappeared more achievable than reducing workplace sitting.

KeywordsSedentary behaviour Computer-tailoring Employees e-health AbbreviationsCIConfidence interval

SBSedentary behaviour

SDStandard deviation

SDTSelf-Determination Theory

SRTSelf-Regulation Theory

TPBTheory of Planned Behaviour

WSQWorkforce Sitting Questionnaire

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Author: Katrien De Cocker - Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij - Greet Cardon - Corneel Vandelanotte


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