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Table 4 Barriers and strategies at reducing sedentary behaviors at the workplace

From: Assessing and understanding sedentary behaviour in office-based working adults: a mixed-method approach

Domain Barriers Quotes Strategies Quotes
Personal factors • Sitting as a habit
• Lack of knowledge and awareness
• Lack of motivation
“I think it’s not complicated, because, how many of us would actually climb up the stairs…” • Set reminders and cues to take breaks
• Raise knowledge and awareness of SB and detrimental health effects
“Target at awareness actually, rather than pushing people to do it themselves”
“You start encouraging yourself; you also encourage other people as well.”
Job Scope • requires sitting
• lack of time for activities
• work-related stress
“…I have this…dilemma… not being sedentary, and yet the work requires, at least from the administrative stand point, for you to be at your desk”
“my role it’s definitely a lot of computer screen and being online monitoring”
Social and work culture • Standing disturbs others
• Standing is perceived as punishment or aggressive
• Common to use lifts
“doing away with emails and standing during meetings, not something that can be put into practice.”
“…seems as though, you all stand up. Let me grill you, any more questions, out the door and then get back to work…”
“Everybody uses the lift even if it’s one floor.”
• Senior management and team “champions” should be role models to shift the culture around SB and PA at the workplace “….should come from the [head of department] as well no matter how much you spread the culture, you kind of give guidance and directions.”
“…I have seen two [people]…he actually promote using the steps and he does it himself. I take a lot of encouragement from that”
Social and work culture • Non-personal methods of communications (e.g., emails) “…technology has not done any favours bringing us up in terms of the activity scale.”
“…people who message each other even if they are in the next cubical”
• To build capacity and social support
• Providing programs and activities that encourage movement and SB reduction (e.g., incentives, standing breaks)
“be a point not email, but to actually walk over and talk to each other…”
Office Environment • small/enclosed cubicle spaces
• high availability and dispersion of printers and chairs
• lack of adjustable workstations
“The point about how we evolve…I feel that the offices are more not open floor offices” • Providing adjustable workstations
• To have more open office floor plan that facilitates movement
• Centralizing printers and other office resources
“have digital cues…because we are working on the workstation, something like a pop out, says: ‘Did you take the stairs before your meeting?’ and you suddenly… oh, I’ll do that perhaps in my regimen next week.”
Building Environment • Too many lifts
• Poor stair accessibility
• complicated building structure
“..sometimes you are running late for meetings, and the tendency all is just, you know, to take the lift and arrive here in a corner anyway, it’s convenient.”
“I take lifts to second floor and I don’t know how to go beyond second floor on stairs, maybe it’s just me…”
• To improved the accessibility of stairs
• Need to improved signage to encourage stair use
“maybe a bit more visual cues would be good as well, like, maybe at the lift landing, we just put: ‘Take the steps instead of something’ and point to a particular direction…”