Research Study Abstract

Controlled Study Of Changes In Ambulatory Activity And Sedentary Behavior Time With Treadmill Workstation Adoption

  • Presented on May 29, 2013

Sedentary occupational behavior may contribute to positive energy balance and weight gain. Strategies to reduce excessive sedentary behavior and increase workplace ambulatory activity are needed.

Purpose To investigate the initial effects of treadmill workstation adoption on work-related ambulatory activity and sedentary time in overweight/obese office workers.

Methods Volunteers (n=17; age: 39.65 ± 7.5; BMI: 35.94 ± 8.2; 65% female) working at a single office complex wore an ActiGraph accelerometer (GT3X+) during working hours for 4 days to assess baseline ambulatory activity and sedentary time. Participants were randomized to a treadmill workstation intervention (WS, n=9) or usual working condition (UWC, n=8) group. Participants in the WS group worked and walked at a computer-equipped workstation for up to 45 min twice daily at a maximum speed of 2.0 mph. The UWC group worked in their usual office setting (e.g., cubicle-based desks and office chairs). To assess initial changes in ambulatory activity and sedentary time during working hours with intervention, each participant wore an accelerometer again 3 weeks into the intervention. T-tests were performed to evaluate for baseline group differences in steps/day and sedentary time. ANCOVA was used to examine the change in work-related ambulatory activity (steps/day) and sedentary time (min/day) between the WS and UWC groups from baseline to 3 weeks into the intervention.

Results The participants had similar amounts ambulatory activity (UWC: 3007.4, WS: 3705.9 steps/day, p=0.29) and sedentary time (UWC: 365.1, WS: 342.6 min/ day, p=0.14) at baseline. A significant increase in ambulatory activity was observed in the WS group (1480.9 steps/day, CI: 533.0, 2428.7) compared to the UWC group (-238.4 steps/day, CI: -1245.9, 769.1) from baseline to week 3 of the intervention. No significant changes were observed in sedentary time in the UWC (3.1 min/day, CI: -26.2, 32.3) compared to the WS groups (-22.3 min/day, CI: -49.8, 5.3).

Conclusions Findings suggest that treadmill workstations are initially effective in increasing work-related ambulatory activity, but have no apparent effect on time spent in sedentary behavior. Future research should evaluate the long-term effects of treadmill workstation adoption on ambulatory activity and sedentary behavior.