University of Limerick
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The Effect of an electronic passive prompt intervention on prolonged occupational sitting and light-intensity physical activity in desk-based adults working from home during COVID-19 in Ireland

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posted on 2023-07-26, 08:15 authored by Aidan BuffeyAidan Buffey, Grainne HayesGrainne Hayes, BRIAN CARSONBRIAN CARSON, ALAN DONNELLYALAN DONNELLY

This study aimed to assess the effect of passive prompts on occupational physical be?haviours (PBs) and bouts of prolonged sitting among desk-based workers in Ireland who were working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic passive prompts were delivered every 45 min, asking participants to walk for five minutes, during working hours. Twenty-eight participants (aged 30–67 years) completed the six-week intervention between October 2020 and April 2021. PBs were measured using an activPAL3TM accelerometer, following a 24 h wear protocol, worn for the duration of the study. Participants were highly sedentary at both baseline (77.71% of work hours) and during the intervention (75.81% of work hours). However, the number of prolonged occupational sedentary bouts > 90 min was reduced compared to baseline (0.56 ± 0.08 vs. 0.77 ± 0.11, p = 0.009). Similar reductions were observed in the time spent in sustained sitting > 60 and >90 min when compared to baseline sedentary patterns (60 min: −31.27 ± 11.91 min, p = 0.014; 90 min: −27.97 ± 9.39 min, p = 0.006). Light-intensity physical activity (LIPA) significantly increased during the intervention (+14.29%, p = 0.001). This study demonstrates that passive prompts, delivered remotely, can both reduce the number and overall time spent in prolonged bouts of occupational sedentary behaviour and increase occupational LIPA. 



International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20(13), 6294



Other Funding information

This research was funded by Health Research Institute, University of Limerick

Also affiliated with

  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

Sustainable development goals

  • (3) Good Health and Well-being

Department or School

  • Physical Education and Sports Science