To identify social ecological correlates of objectively measured workplace sedentary behavior.
Participants from 24 worksites - across academic, industrial, and government sectors - wore an activPAL-micro accelerometer for 7-days (Jan-Nov 2016). Work time was segmented using daily logs. Sedentary behavior outcomes included time spent sitting, standing, in light intensity physical activity (LPA, stepping cadence <100 steps/min), and in prolonged sitting bouts (>30 min). Outcomes were standardized to an 8 h work day. Two electronic surveys were completed to derive individual (job type and work engagement), cultural (lunch away from the desk, walking at lunch and face-to-face interaction), physical (personal printer and office type) and organizational (sector) factors. Mixed-model analyses with worksite-level clustering were performed to examine multi-level associations. Secondary analyses examined job type and sector as moderators of these associations. All models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity and gender.
Participants (N = 478; 72% female; age: 45.0 ± 11.3 years; 77.8% non-Hispanic white) wore the activPAL-micro for 90.2 ± 15.5% of the reported workday. Walking at lunch was positively associated with LPA (5.0 ± 0.5 min/8 h, P < 0.001). Regular face-to-face interaction was negatively associated with prolonged sitting (−11.3 ± 4.8 min/8 h, P < 0.05). Individuals in private offices sat more (20.1 ± 9.1 min/8 h, P < 0.05), stood less (−21.5 ± 8.8 min/8 h, P < 0.05), and engaged in more prolonged sitting (40.9 ± 11.2 min/8 h, P < 0.001) than those in public office space. These associations were further modified by job type and sector.
Work-specific individual, cultural, physical and organizational factors are associated with workplace sedentary behavior. Associations vary by job type and sector and should be considered in the design of workplace interventions to reduce sedentary behavior.