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Associations of Device-Measured Sitting, Standing, and Stepping Time With Informal Face-to-Face Interactions at Work

Sugiyama, Takemi, PhD, MArch; Winkler, Elisabeth A.H., PhD; LaMontagne, Anthony D., PhD; Healy, Genevieve N., PhD; Hadgraft, Nyssa T., PhD; Dunstan, David W., PhD; Owen, Neville, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 5 - p 431–436
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001586

Objective: This cross-sectional study examined the interrelationships between workplace movement (sitting, standing, and stepping), availability of discussion space, and face-to-face (FTF) interactions between workers.

Methods: Desk-based workers (n = 221) wore an activity monitor for 7 days and self-reported their weekly frequency of FTF interactions and discussion space availability. Negative binomial regression models examined behavioral and spatial factors associated with the frequency of FTF interactions.

Results: Adjusted for potential confounders, each one standard deviation increment in time spent sitting, standing, stepping, and discussion space availability was associated with 20% lower (P = 0.004), 19% higher (P = 0.003), 6% higher (P = 0.16), and 11% higher (P = 0.26) frequency of FTF interactions, respectively

Conclusions: Lower workplace sitting was often linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases. Our findings suggest that less sitting at work may have additional benefits of increasing informal interactions between office workers.

Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University (Dr Sugiyama, Dr Dunstan); Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology (Dr Sugiyama, Dr Hadgraft, Dr Owen); Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne (Dr Sugiyama, Dr Healy, Dr Hadgraft, Dr Dunstan, Dr Owen); School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane (Dr Winkler, Dr Healy, Dr Dunstan, Dr Owen); Centre for Population Health Research, Deakin University, Geelong (Dr LaMontagne); School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne (Dr LaMontagne, Dr Owen); School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University (Dr Healy); School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth (Dr Dunstan); School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University (Dr Dunstan); Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University (Dr Dunstan), Melbourne, Australia.

Address correspondence to: Takemi Sugiyama, PhD, MArch, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, 215 Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia (

Author Contributions: T.S. conceived the idea, developed hypotheses with help from E.W., A.L., and N.O., and conducted statistical analyses with help from E.W. G.H., N.H., and D.D. conducted the SUV study. All authors contributed to the manuscript writing.

Stand Up Victoria (SUV) was funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant [#1002706], project funding from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation's Creating Healthy Workplaces Program, and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Healy was supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship [#1086029]. Hadgraft was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and a Baker Institute Bright Sparks top up scholarship. Dunstan was supported by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship [#1078360] and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Owen was supported by an NHMRC Program Grant [#569940], a Senior Principal Research Fellowship [#1003960], and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program.

Conflicts of Interest: None declared.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine