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Researchers at the College of Health Solutions will study the effectiveness of a program designed to reduce sitting at work in a $3 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The study builds on the research team’s earlier work in which they developed and tested a workplace program to support less sitting at work that endures over a sustained period and helps lower workers’ risk for chronic disease. Called Stand and Move at Work, the program brought sit-stand desks into workplaces and changed other physical aspects of the work environment, including informational signage and improved access to stairways. In addition, the program had a social component for workers to participate in cooperative and motivational activities. Researchers also worked with employers to implement more activity-friendly workplace policies.
The new study will test the implementation of the Stand and Move at Work program on a much larger scale, recruiting work sites across the U.S. that have sit-stand workstations but do not have programs to support their use. Researchers will make the program available to these work sites via a web-based platform. Part of the study will examine whether a trained facilitator is needed to support the program or if providing access to the web platform is enough to change workers’ sitting behavior.
“The potential health benefits of sit-stand workstations and associated work site health promotion programs will not be realized in the workforce at large until we test potentially effective strategies to implement evidence-based interventions,” said Associate Professor Matt Buman, one of the study’s two principal investigators. He will be working with researchers from the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Queensland in Australia to implement and evaluate the intervention. College of Health Solutions’ Becky Sanback is the lead study coordinator, and Matthew Martin, a clinical assistant professor, will oversee the expert-based facilitation of the program to the participating work sites.