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Table 3 Acceptable strategies to reduce and interrupt sedentary behaviour at work

From: Acceptability and feasibility of potential intervention strategies for influencing sedentary time at work: focus group interviews in executives and employees


Strategies to reduce occupational sitting +quote

Strategies to interrupt occupational sitting +quote

Working hours


Standing while sorting and filing paper reports when there is no digital database

Computer reminders

“A computer reminder would make one more aware: ‘you are already being seated for 4 hours and a half’, the system says… even if it is only making us conscious, that’s a lot” [male employee]

Active sitting furniture

“I think it’s a good idea to sit actively on a gym ball, as in this way the step to standing up is smaller compared to when you are sitting comfortably in a chair” [female employee]

Drink more water and go to the toilet more often


Walking or biking conversations

Walking over to a colleague

“This is indeed something positive. Besides being active, the conversation may be even smoother, that’s a win-win” [female employee]

“This is only a small effort that breaks your sitting, plus it improves the contact with the colleague” [male employee]


Standing meetings (max 15 minutes) in small groups

Standing breaks in middle of meeting or after 30 minutes

“The more you sit, the longer you discuss, the longer the meeting lasts, so…standing may be more efficient” [female employee]

“Wouldn’t it be good to decide to have a standing break after 30 minutes when meetings will last more than one hour?” [female employee]


Those who speak stand up (only for executives)


You could also agree that the one who is talking should stand up during the meeting. This is a small effort. If we could get this mentality, it’s not much effort and feasible for everyone” [male executive]


Adjustable standing desks (individual use)

Central printers/bins/coffee corners/water stations/mail boxes

“We should have a desk that can move up, it may sound silly but then I would stand up for one hour” [male employee]

“I think we can achieve a lot by putting the printers and coffee machines further away” [female executive]


Separate meeting room with standing tables + extra trigger to use that room


“Why should you use that room (= room with standing tables) if there is an alternative where you can sit, I believe an extrinsic motivation is needed, like fruit” [male employee]

Lunch time and other breaks


Active lunch breaks: individual or common

Individual ‘movement break’

“During lunch I would suggest to walk outside instead of putting people around a table again” [male employee]

“If I for example take a break for 5 minutes every two hours, I think I will restart work with double the amount of concentration, so I believe we have benefits for our body but also for the concentration” [male employee]




Standing tables in canteens for cold lunch


“It’s okay to stand while eating sandwiches, but if you order a soup or a hot meal, this (=standing) is really not comfortable and really not practical…” [female executive]