“It's not an Obvious Issue, Is It?” Office-Based Employees’ Perceptions of Prolonged Sitting at Work: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Objective:

Current UK workplace health promotion guidance recommends that employers minimize sedentary behaviors, but understanding the issues relating to prolonged workplace sitting has received little empirical attention. This study aimed to explore employees’ perceptions of sitting time.

Methods:

Participants at a small to medium-sized UK company were invited to join one of five focus groups. A framework analysis approach was used.

Results:

Self-reported mean estimate of occupational sitting time was 6.4 hours/day with a mean estimate of leisure time sitting 6.5 hours/nonwork days. The study highlighted employees’ lack of appreciation of the health risks associated with sedentary behavior.

Conclusion:

This study has highlighted that in addition to personal determinants, the workplace environment and organizational culture have a key role in supporting employees’ potential adoption of healthier sitting behavior in the workplace.

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