The effects of sedentary behavior interventions on work-related productivity and performance outcomes in real and simulated office work: A systematic review


This review examines the effect of environmental, behavioural, and combined interventions to reduce occupational sedentary behaviour on work performance/productivity outcomes. Performance outcomes were categorized as variables that assessed cognition and did not mimic work-related tasks (e.g., memory, executive function). Productivity outcomes were defined as variables assessing work-related tasks (e.g., typing, mouse). Nine databases were searched for articles published up to January 2018. Sixty-three studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria: 45 examined outcomes of productivity, 38 examined outcomes of productivity, and 30 examined at least one measure of self-reported productivity/performance. Additionally, 7 were behavioural interventions, 43 were environmental interventions, and 13 were combined behavioural and environmental interventions. With respect to intervention type, 34 interventions implemented standing, 26 walking/treadmill interventions, 15 cycling interventions, 3 stretching interventions, and 4 dynamic sitting interventions. Overall, standing interventions do not appear to impact productivity/performance outcomes, while walking and cycling demonstrate mixed results for outcomes of productivity/performance. Longer intervention periods and more robust and randomized study designs are recommended for future work. It is suggested through this review that standing interventions to reduce occupational sedentary behaviour could be implemented without negatively impacting productivity/performance.