Objectives Based on a review of reviews that included studies until December 2015, we demonstrated a reduction in occupational sitting for multi-component workplace interventions, and interventions addressing the work environment and the individual. This systematic review gives an overview about the rapidly accumulating subsequent evidence and identifies research needs.
Methods A literature search was conducted in Pubmed, PsycInfo, and Sportdiscus. English and German references from 01.01.2016 until 31.07.2016 were included if they evaluated workplace interventions targeting a reduction of occupational sitting or an increase of physical activity. Quality was assessed with a modified version of the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.
Results Out of 380 identified references 17 were included (9 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and 8 non-randomised interventions). Six out of 7 interventions (4 RCTs) addressing the individual, 3 out of 6 studies (1 RCT) targeting the physical work environment (sit-to-stand/dynamic workstations, active building design), and 2 out of 2 multi-component interventions (RCTs) showed statistically significant beneficial changes in objectively measured occupational sitting time and/or physical activity.
Conclusions Beyond inconsistent results for dynamic workstations and further evidence for multi-component interventions, individualised interventions (e.g. personal feedback elements) seem to be beneficial. The effect of new components (e.g. active building design) is still unclear. Future studies are warranted emphasisingorganisational interventions, and the mechanisms behind single components of multi-component interventions (e.g. social support) with their long-term effects. Further, the interrelationship of prolonged sitting on and off work, and timing of sitting interruptions for cardiometabolic effects need to be further elucidated.