Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Flexible Work: The Impact of a New Policy on Employees’ Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity

Olsen, Heidi M. BBehavSc (Psych)(Hons); Brown, Wendy J. PhD; Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy PhD; Burton, Nicola W. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 1 - p 23–28
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001190
Original Articles

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess change in physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in office-based employees after the implementation of a flexible work policy that allowed working at home.

Methods: A total of 24 employees (62% female; 40 ± 10 years) completed an online questionnaire 4 weeks pre- and 6 weeks post-implementation of the policy. Changes in PA and SB were assessed using Wilcoxon signed rank test.

Results: There were no changes in PA after the introduction of the flexible work policy (Z = −0.29, P > 0.05). Sitting time increased on days the employees worked at home (Z = −2.02, P > 0.05) and on days they worked at the office (Z = −4.16, P > 0.001).

Conclusions: A flexible work policy may have had a negative impact on sedentary behavior in this workplace. Future work is needed to explore the potential impact on workplace sitting time.

Centre for Research in Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Ms Olsen, Dr Brown, Dr Kolbe-Alexander, Dr Burton); and School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia (Dr Kolbe-Alexander).

Address correspondence to: Heidi M. Olsen, BBehavSc (Psych)(Hons), Centre for Research in Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Cnr Blair Drive and Union Rd, Brisbane, Queensland 4010, Australia (h.olsen@uq.edu.au).

Authors Olsen, Brown, Kolbe-Alexander, and Burton have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine