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Perceived office environments and occupational physical activity in office-based workers

Sawyer, ADM; Smith, L; Ucci, M; Jones, R; Marmot, A; Fisher, A; (2017) Perceived office environments and occupational physical activity in office-based workers. Occupational Medicine , 67 (4) pp. 260-267. 10.1093/occmed/kqx022. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Individuals in office-based occupations have low levels of physical activity but there is little research into the socio-ecological correlates of workplace activity. AIMS: To identify factors contributing to office-based workers’ perceptions of the office environment and explore cross-sectional relationships between these factors and occupational physical activity. METHODS: Participants in the Active Buildings study reported perceptions of their office environment using the Movement at Work Survey. A principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted on survey items. A sub-sample wore the ActivPAL3TM accelerometer for ≥3 workdays to measure occupational step count, standing, sitting and sit-to-stand transitions. Linear regression analyses assessed relationships between environmental perceptions and activity. RESULTS: There were 433 participants, with accelerometer data available for 115 participants across 11 organ izations. The PCA revealed four factors: (i) perceived distance to office destinations, (ii) perceived office aesthetics and comfort, (iii) perceived office social environment and (iv) perceived management discouragement of unscheduled breaks. Younger participants perceived office destinations as being closer to their desk. Younger and female participants perceived more positive office social environments; there were no other socio-demographic differences. Within the sub-sample with accelerometer data, perceived discouragement of breaks by management was related to occupational step count/hour (B = −64.5; 95% CI −109.7 to −19.2). No other environmental perceptions were related to activity or sitting. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived managerial discouragement of breaks could be related to meaningful decreases in occupational step count. Future research should aim to elucidate the role of the workplace socio-cultural environment in occupational walking, with a focus on the role of management.

Type: Article
Title: Perceived office environments and occupational physical activity in office-based workers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqx022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqx022
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Occupational Medicine following peer review. The version of record [A. Sawyer, L. Smith, M. Ucci, R. Jones, A. Marmot, A. Fisher; Perceived office environments and occupational physical activity in office-based workers. Occup Med (Lond) 2017 kqx022. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqx022] is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqx022
Keywords: Movement, sedentary jobs, social environment, work environment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett Sch of Const and Proj Mgt
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett Real Estate Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1543192
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