National implementation trial of an evidence-informed workplace sitting reduction intervention

Too much sitting is now an acknowledged public health concern, with desk-based workers identified as a key target population for intervention. Building on our Stand Up Australia program of epidemiological, experimental, and field-based intervention research to reduce sitting, the critical next stage in knowledge generation is to evaluate the wide-scale implementation of effective interventions in priority workplace settings. Accordingly, we have partnered with workplace policy and practice stakeholders across Australia to develop a potentially scalable approach to reducing workplace sitting: the BeUpstanding Champion Toolkit. This world-first web-based program is designed to enable and support workplaces to adopt and deliver the evidence-informed BeUpstanding intervention. The proposed 3-yr Partnership Project will evaluate the Toolkit in a national implementation trial.

Desk-based work teams from a variety of industries will be recruited from across Australia via partner-led referral pathways, with recruitment especially targeting sectors of priority to the partners (small business, regional, call centre, blue-collar, government: minimum 50 work teams per sector; implementation trial target =  n>10,000 employees). A single-arm repeated measures design will assess the short- (3 month) and long-term (12 month) impact of the intervention, with data on the primary outcomes of uptake, implementation, effectiveness in reducing workplace sitting time, and costs collected via the dedicated website. Qualitative data on a sub-sample of champions and staff will inform facilitators and barriers to uptake and implementation.

This trial will determine whether the Toolkit is a feasible, effective, safe and economical resource for sustainably reducing workplace sitting. The practice-based evidence generated will directly inform policy and practice regarding the emergent health risk of prolonged workplace sitting and the potential for broader Toolkit dissemination.