Not all disruptions in the workplace cause problems. In fact, some may help workers spend less time sitting or squeeze in a little walking during the workday.
From September 2011 through December 2012, 60 office workers at a large university in the midwestern United States participated in a trial to evaluate whether prompts given during the day could disrupt prolonged periods of time spent sitting.
Investigators randomly assigned about half the workers to a group that got hourly prompts with a wrist monitor to stand up. The other half were in a group that got hourly prompts to stand up and walk at least 100 steps. Workers’ usual sitting, standing, and walking patterns were measured during a 3-day baseline period. The 3-day intervention period was on the same days of the following week.