A systematic review published in Obesity Reviews indicates that, among interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour, those targeting workplaces – and the physical environment more broadly – are most effective.
Sedentary behaviour (i.e., time spent sitting or lying down while awake) has increased globally in recent decades, and is believed to be a risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and several cancers. Various interventions have been introduced with the aim of reducing sedentary behaviour in different populations and settings. A systematic review, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, has found that physical environment interventions that target workplaces are very effective in reducing the daily sedentary behaviour of adults.
Researchers at the universities of Regensburg and Duisburg-Essen, Germany, conducted an umbrella review of 40 systematic reviews and compared the efficacy of those targeting personal behaviour, the physical environment, the social environment, or a combination of the above. Physical environment interventions – which include standing workstations, movement-friendly buildings and treadmill desks – were found to reduce sedentary behaviour more effectively than personal behaviour interventions or multicomponent interventions.
According to the study, physical environment interventions reduced the total sedentary behaviour of adults, office workers and older adults by an average of 56 minutes per day. The authors noted that up to 48.5% of total weekly sedentary behaviour can be attributed to the workplace, suggesting that such interventions can have a considerable positive impact on adults’ health. Their widespread adoption could therefore significantly reduce sedentary behaviour, and thus improve long-term health outcomes, among the adult population globally.
The review also considered the cost, and the cost-effectiveness, of the various interventions. The full study, How effective and how expensive are interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour? An umbrella review and meta-analysis, is available to read in Obesity Reviews via Early View.
About Obesity Reviews
Obesity Reviews is the official reviews journal of the World Obesity Federation, publishing reviews on all disciplines related to obesity and its comorbidities. With an Impact Factor of 9.213, it is the highest ranked obesity journal (ISI Journal Citation Reports).Obesity reviews