Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in a flexible office-based workplace: employee perceptions and priorities for change

Olsen, Heidi M. and Brown, Wendy J. and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy and Burton, Nicola W. (2018) Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in a flexible office-based workplace: employee perceptions and priorities for change. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 29 (3). pp. 344-352. ISSN 1036-1073

Abstract

Issue addressed: Many Australian employees now regularly work from home in some capacity. This new way of working has not been widely studied in relation to the potential implications for employees’ health-related behaviour or workplace health promotion. The aim of this study was to explore office-based employees’ perceptions of the impact of flexible work on physical activity and sedentary behaviour; and preferences for associated interventions.
Methods: Three focus groups were conducted with office-based employees (n = 28) 6 months after the introduction of a flexible work policy. A semi-structured interview format with open-ended questions was used with summary statements to check understanding. Sessions were audiotaped, and dominant themes were identified. Findings on intervention preferences were interpreted using a social cognitive framework. An overview of results was provided to a group of managers (n = 9) for comment.
Results: Employees reported that physical activity was not impacted, but sedentary behaviour had increased, with flexible work. Intervention preferences focussed on occupational sedentary behaviour, self-regulation, prompts and social connections, and not the physical work environment. Managers agreed with employees’ preferences and also wanted interventions to be sustainable. Conclusion: Self-directed interventions with social components and targeting occupational sedentary behaviour were more acceptable than physical activity interventions in this flexible workplace. So what? Health promotion for workplaces with flexible work practices may benefit from prioritising strategies that promote self-regulation and social connections rather than being linked to the physical worksite.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 06:28
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 04:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical activity, qualitative methods, workplaces
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/hpja.164
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34641

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