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Table 4 Implementing strategies to reduce workplace sitting: lessons from the SUV trial and recommendations for research, policy and practice

From: Reducing occupational sitting: Workers’ perspectives on participation in a multi-component intervention

Lessons learned Recommendations
• Awareness of current activity levels (i.e. time spent sitting and moving) may be important for behavioural change. • Assess and provide feedback on employees’ behaviour, preferably with objective measures.
• If resources do not facilitate objective measurement, a questionnaire can provide relevant insights.
• Sit-stand workstations are integral to achieving large reductions in workplace sitting time for those with largely desk-based roles. Participants in this study reported having limited opportunities to stand once the workstations were removed. • Provide employees with access to sit-stand workstations where organisational resources permit.
• Attempt to replace fixed height workstations with sit-stand workstations (or static standing workstation options) during scheduled office furniture upgrades.
• Provide opportunities for job tasks to be performed at alternative work points (e.g. communal standing or sit-stand workstations) to encourage greater movement throughout the day.
• The design of sit-stand workstations can be a barrier to use. Stability and size of the work surfaces are important features. • When selecting sit-stand workstations for purchase consider:
 - Ease of movement (manual vs electric adjustment; speed and noise of movement)
 - Ergonomic and occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements (compliance with standard height range, height indicators to facilitate use at appropriate height, addressing any pinch points associated with moving elements).
 - Suitability of work surface size and monitor arrangement for predominant job tasks)
• Installing sit-stand workstations in open plan environments can have implications for audio and visual privacy, particularly when the provision of workstations is not universal. • Create supportive social and environmental conditions to support sit-stand workstations. For example, higher partitions, separate quiet spaces for phone calls, reorienting of desks or relocation of workers.
• Provide and encourage use of alternative work points with audio and visual privacy to support tasks, such as phone calls.
• Managers/team leaders should monitor interactions between workers and provide advice/conflict resolution as needed.
• A whole of organisation approach to promoting sit less, move more strategies is important, including support from middle and senior levels of management as well as peer support. • Managers/team leaders should lead by example and support and encourage sit less strategies. For example, providing permission for employees to stand in meetings.
• Co-workers play an important role in prompting and supporting positive behaviour change.
• Existing preconceptions around sit-stand workstations and their purpose may be a barrier to their use. For example, workstations traditionally only being provided to those with musculoskeletal issues. • Review and, where appropriate, update and promote policies around the provision and use of sit-stand workstations.
• Ensure that key business stakeholders, including OHS representatives, are included in process of on-boarding sit-stand workstations to increase their relevance.
• Consider piloting sit-stand workstations to increase positive perceptions and knowledge prior to full roll out.
• Ongoing support and encouragement is important for the creation of new habits relating to sitting less and moving more. For some employees this may be required for longer than 3 months. • Discuss benefits and challenges to reducing sitting through organisation social media platforms and intranets.
• Regular competitions or events to promote sitting less may assist to reinvigorate strategies.
• Use signage to provide behavioural prompts to reduce workplace sitting.