Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Evaluation of ergonomic and education interventions to reduce occupational sitting in office-based university workers: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Antonia Radas1, Martin Mackey1*, Andrew Leaver1, Anna-Louise Bouvier2, Josephine Y Chau3, Debra Shirley1 and Adrian Bauman3

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Health Science, The University of Sydney, 75 East Street, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia

2 Physiocise Movement for Muscles Pty Ltd, Suite 14, 77 Penshurst Street, Willoughby, NSW 2068, Australia

3 Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, K25 - Medical Foundation Building The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

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Trials 2013, 14:330  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-330

Published: 12 October 2013



Prolonged sitting is a specific occupational hazard in office workers. There is growing evidence that prolonged sitting is detrimental to metabolic health. The aim of this study is to determine whether providing office workers with education along with adjustable sit-stand workstations leads to reduction in sitting behavior.


A randomized control trial (RCT) with three groups (one control group and two intervention groups) will be conducted in an office workplace setting. The education intervention group will receive an education package that encourages reduction in sitting behaviors. The sit-stand desk intervention group will receive the same education package along with an adjustable sit-stand desk. Participants will be included in the study if they are currently employed in a full-time academic or administrative role that involves greater than 15 hours per week or greater than 4 hours per day computer-based work. Baseline data will include participant’s age, gender, weight, height, smoking habit, employment position, level of education, and baseline self-reported leisure time physical activity. The primary outcome is the average daily sedentary time during work hours, measured by an accelerometer. Participant recruitment commenced in March 2013 and will be completed by December 2013.


This study will determine whether providing office workers with an adjustable sit-stand desk and individually targeted education, or education alone, is more effective in decreasing sitting behaviors than no intervention.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000366752

Sedentary behavior; Musculoskeletal symptoms; Ergonomic; Work posture; Intervention; Behavior change