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The Feasibility of Reducing Sitting Time in Overweight and Obese Older Adults.

Dori Rosenberg, Nancy Gell, Salene Jones, Anne Renz, Jacqueline Kerr, Paul Gardiner, David Arterburn

Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education [42:669-76] (2015)

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Overweight and obese older adults have high sedentary time. We tested the feasibility and preliminary effects of a sedentary time reduction intervention among adults over age 60 with a body mass index over 27 kg/m2 using a nonrandomized one-arm design. Participants (N = 25, mean age = 71.4, mean body mass index = 34) completed an 8-week theory-based intervention targeting reduced total sitting time and increased sit-to-stand transitions. An inclinometer (activPAL) measured the primary outcomes, change in total sitting time and sit-to-stand transitions. Secondary outcomes included physical activity (ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer), self-reported sedentary behaviors, physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery), depressive symptoms (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire), quality of life (PROMIS), and study satisfaction. Paired t tests examined pre-post test changes in sitting time, sit-to-stand transitions, and secondary outcomes. Inclinometer measured sitting time decreased by 27 min/day (p < .05) and sit-to-stand transitions increased by 2 per day (p > .05), while standing time increased by 25 min/day (p < .05). Accelerometer measured sedentary time, light-intensity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity improved (all p values ≤ .05). Self-reported sitting time, gait speed, and depressive symptoms also improved (all p values < .05). Effect sizes were small. Study satisfaction was high. Reducing sitting time is feasible, and the intervention shows preliminary evidence of effectiveness among older adults with overweight and obesity. Randomized trials of sedentary behavior reduction in overweight and obese older adults, most of whom have multiple chronic conditions, may be promising.


On Your Feet to Earn Your Seat: pilot RCT of a theory-based sedentary behaviour reduction intervention for older adults.

Isabelle White, Lee Smith, Daniel Aggio, Sahana Shankar, Saima Begum, Raluca Matei, Kenneth Fox, Mark Hamer, Steve Iliffe, Barbara Jefferis, Nick Tyler, Benjamin Gardner

Pilot and feasibility studies [3:23] (2017)

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Of all age groups, older adults spend most of the time sitting and are least physically active. This sequential, mixed-methods feasibility study used a randomised controlled trial design to assess methods for trialling a habit-based intervention to displace older adults' sedentary behaviour with light activity and explore impact on behavioural outcomes. Eligibility criteria were age 60-74 years, retired, and ≥6 h/day leisure sitting. Data were collected across four sites in England. The intervention comprised a booklet outlining 15 'tips' for disrupting sedentary habits and integrating activity habits into normally inactive settings, and eight weekly self-monitoring sheets. The control was a non-habit-based factsheet promoting activity and sedentary reduction. A computer-generated 1:1 block-randomisation schedule was used, with participants blinded to allocation. Participants self-reported sedentary behaviour (two indices), sedentary habit, physical activity (walking, moderate, vigorous activity) and activity habit, at pre-treatment baseline, 8- and 12-week follow-ups and were interviewed at 12 weeks. Primary feasibility outcomes were attrition, adverse events and intervention adherence. The secondary outcome was behavioural change. Of 104 participants consented, 103 were randomised (intervention N = 52, control N = 51). Of 98 receiving allocated treatment, 91 (93%; intervention N = 45; control N = 46) completed the trial. One related adverse event was reported in the intervention group. Mean per-tip adherence across 7 weeks was ≥50% for 9/15 tips. Qualitative data suggested acceptability of procedures, and, particularly among intervention recipients, the allocated treatment. Both groups appeared to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase their physical activity, but there were no apparent differences between groups in the extent of change. Trial methods were acceptable and feasible, but the intervention conferred no apparent advantage over control, though it was not trialled among the most sedentary and inactive population for whom it was developed. Further development of the intervention may be necessary prior to a large-scale definitive trial. One possible refinement would combine elements of the intervention with an informational approach to enhance effectiveness. ISRCTN47901994 (registration date: 16th January 2014; trial end date 30th April 2015).


Motivational counselling and SMS-reminders for reduction of daily sitting time in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a descriptive randomised controlled feasibility study.

T Thomsen, M Aadahl, N Beyer, M Hetland, K Løppenthin, J Midtgaard, R Christensen, B Esbensen

BMC musculoskeletal disorders [17:434] (2016)

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) spend a high proportion of their waking time in sedentary behaviour (SB) and have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduction of SB and increase in light intensity physical activity has been suggested as a means of improvement of health in patients with mobility problems. Short-term intervention studies have demonstrated that SB can be reduced by behavioural interventions in sedentary populations. To evaluate descriptively the feasibility of recruitment, randomisation, outcome assessments, retention and the acceptability of an individually tailored, theory-based behavioural intervention targeting reduction in daily sitting time in patients with RA. A randomised, controlled trial with two parallel groups. RA patients >18 years of age and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score < 2.5 were consecutively invited and screened for daily leisure time sitting > 4 h. The 16-week intervention included 1) three individual motivational counselling sessions and 2) individual text message reminders aimed at reducing daily sitting time. The control group was encouraged to maintain their usual lifestyles. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and after the 16 week intervention. Daily sitting time was measured using an ActivPAL3(TM) activity monitor. The study was not powered to show superiority; rather the objective was to focus on acceptability among patients and clinical health professionals. In total, 107 patients were invited and screened before 20 met eligibility criteria and consented; reasons for declining study participation were mostly flares, lack of time and co-morbidities. One patient from the control group dropped out before end of intervention (due to a RA flare). Intervention participants completed all counselling sessions. All procedures regarding implementation of the trial protocol were feasible. The daily sitting time was reduced on average by 0.30 h in the intervention group unlike the control group that tended to increase it by 0.15 h after 16 weeks. This study shows that an individually tailored behavioural intervention targeting reduction of SB was feasible and acceptable to patients with RA. The Danish Data Protection Agency (ref.nb. 711-1-08 - 20 March 2011), the Ethics Committee of the Capital Region of Denmark (ref.nb. H-2-2012-112- 17 October 2012), clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT01969604 - October 17 2013, retrospectively registered).


Using computer, mobile and wearable technology enhanced interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Aoife Stephenson, Suzanne McDonough, Marie Murphy, Chris Nugent, Jacqueline Mair

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [14:105] (2017)

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High levels of sedentary behaviour (SB) are associated with negative health consequences. Technology enhanced solutions such as mobile applications, activity monitors, prompting software, texts, emails and websites are being harnessed to reduce SB. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of such technology enhanced interventions aimed at reducing SB in healthy adults and to examine the behaviour change techniques (BCTs) used. Five electronic databases were searched to identify randomised-controlled trials (RCTs), published up to June 2016. Interventions using computer, mobile or wearable technologies to facilitate a reduction in SB, using a measure of sedentary time as an outcome, were eligible for inclusion. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool and interventions were coded using the BCT Taxonomy (v1). Meta-analysis of 15/17 RCTs suggested that computer, mobile and wearable technology tools resulted in a mean reduction of -41.28 min per day (min/day) of sitting time (95% CI -60.99, -21.58, I2 = 77%, n = 1402), in favour of the intervention group at end point follow-up. The pooled effects showed mean reductions at short (≤ 3 months), medium (>3 to 6 months), and long-term follow-up (>6 months) of -42.42 min/day, -37.23 min/day and -1.65 min/day, respectively. Overall, 16/17 studies were deemed as having a high or unclear risk of bias, and 1/17 was judged to be at a low risk of bias. A total of 46 BCTs (14 unique) were coded for the computer, mobile and wearable components of the interventions. The most frequently coded were "prompts and cues", "self-monitoring of behaviour", "social support (unspecified)" and "goal setting (behaviour)". Interventions using computer, mobile and wearable technologies can be effective in reducing SB. Effectiveness appeared most prominent in the short-term and lessened over time. A range of BCTs have been implemented in these interventions. Future studies need to improve reporting of BCTs within interventions and address the methodological flaws identified within the review through the use of more rigorously controlled study designs with longer-term follow-ups, objective measures of SB and the incorporation of strategies to reduce attrition. The review protocol was registered with PROSPERO: CRD42016038187.


Stand More AT Work (SMArT Work): using the behaviour change wheel to develop an intervention to reduce sitting time in the workplace.

Fehmidah Munir, Stuart Biddle, Melanie Davies, David Dunstan, David Esliger, Laura Gray, Ben Jackson, Sophie O'Connell, Tom Yates, Charlotte Edwardson

BMC public health [18:319] (2018)

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Sitting (sedentary behaviour) is widespread among desk-based office workers and a high level of sedentary behaviour is a risk factor for poor health. Reducing workplace sitting time is therefore an important prevention strategy. Interventions are more likely to be effective if they are theory and evidence-based. The Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) provides a framework for intervention development. This article describes the development of the Stand More AT Work (SMArT Work) intervention, which aims to reduce sitting time among National Health Service (NHS) office-based workers in Leicester, UK. We followed the BCW guide and used the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) model to conduct focus group discussions with 39 NHS office workers. With these data we used the taxonomy of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTv1) to identify the most appropriate strategies for facilitating behaviour change in our intervention. To identify the best method for participants to self-monitor their sitting time, a sub-group of participants (n = 31) tested a number of electronic self-monitoring devices. From our BCW steps and the BCT-Taxonomy we identified 10 behaviour change strategies addressing environmental (e.g. provision of height adjustable desks,), organisational (e.g. senior management support, seminar), and individual level (e.g. face-to-face coaching session) barriers. The Darma cushion scored the highest for practicality and acceptability for self-monitoring sitting. The BCW guide, COM-B model and BCT-Taxonomy can be applied successfully in the context of designing a workplace intervention for reducing sitting time through standing and moving more. The intervention was developed in collaboration with office workers (a participatory approach) to ensure relevance for them and their work situation. The effectiveness of this intervention is currently being evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. ISRCTN10967042 . Registered on 2 February 2015.


A randomised feasibility study to investigate the impact of education and the addition of prompts on the sedentary behaviour of office workers.

Catriona O'Dolan, Margaret Grant, Maggie Lawrence, Philippa Dall

Pilot and feasibility studies [4:33] (2018)

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Office workers have been identified as being at risk of accumulating high amounts of sedentary time in prolonged events during work hours, which has been associated with increased risk of a number of long-term health conditions.There is some evidence that providing advice to stand at regular intervals during the working day, and using computer-based prompts, can reduce sedentary behaviour in office workers. However, evidence of effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability for these types of intervention is currently limited. A 2-arm, parallel group, cluster-randomised feasibility trial to assess the acceptability of prompts to break up sedentary behaviour was conducted with office workers in a commercial bank ( = 21). Participants were assigned to an education only group (EG) or prompt and education group (PG). Both groups received education on reducing and breaking up sitting at work, and the PG also received hourly prompts, delivered by Microsoft Outlook over 10 weeks, reminding them to stand. Objective measurements of sedentary behaviour were made using activPAL monitors worn at three time points: baseline, in the last 2 weeks of the intervention period and 12 weeks after the intervention. Focus groups were conducted to explore the acceptability of the intervention and the motivations and barriers to changing sedentary behaviour. Randomly generated, customised prompts, delivered by Microsoft Outlook, with messages about breaking up sitting, proved to be a feasible and acceptable way of delivering prompts to office workers. Participants in both groups reduced their sitting, but changes were not maintained at follow-up. The education session seemed to increase outcome expectations of the benefits of changing sedentary behaviour and promote self-regulation of behaviour in some participants. However, low self-efficacy and a desire to conform to cultural norms were barriers to changing behaviour. Prompts delivered by Microsoft Outlook were a feasible, low-cost way of prompting office workers to break up their sedentary behaviour, although further research is needed to determine whether this has an additional impact on sedentary behaviour, to education alone. The role of cultural norms, and promoting self-efficacy, should be considered in the design of future interventions. This study was registered retrospectively as a clinical trial on ClinicalTrials.gov (ID no. NCT02609282) on 23 March 2015.