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Multicomponent intervention to reduce daily sedentary time: a randomised controlled trial
  1. Lucas J Carr1,
  2. Kristina Karvinen2,
  3. Mallory Peavler3,
  4. Rebecca Smith3,
  5. Kayla Cangelosi3
  1. 1Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  2. 2School of Physical and Health Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lucas J Carr; Lucas-Carr{at}


Objectives To test the efficacy of a multicomponent technology intervention for reducing daily sedentary time and improving cardiometabolic disease risk among sedentary, overweight university employees.

Design Blinded, randomised controlled trial.

Setting A large south-eastern university in the USA.

Participants 49 middle-aged, primarily female, sedentary and overweight adults working in sedentary jobs enrolled in the study. A total of 40 participants completed the study.

Interventions Participants were randomised to either: (1) an intervention group (N=23; 47.6+9.9 years; 94.1% female; 33.2+4.5 kg/m2); (2) or wait-list control group (N=17; 42.6+8.9 years; 86.9% female; 31.7+4.9 kg/m2). The intervention group received a theory-based, internet-delivered programme, a portable pedal machine at work and a pedometer for 12 weeks. The wait-list control group maintained their behaviours for 12 weeks.

Outcome measures Primary (sedentary and physical activity behaviour measured objectively through StepWatch) and secondary (heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, per cent body fat, cardiorespiratory fitness, fasting lipids) outcomes were measured at baseline and postintervention (12 weeks). Exploratory outcomes including intervention compliance and process evaluation measures were also assessed postintervention.

Results Compared to controls, the intervention group reduced daily sedentary time (mean change (95%CI): −58.7 min/day (−118.4 to 0.99; p<0.01)) after adjusting for baseline values and monitor wear time. Intervention participants logged on to the website 71.3% of all intervention days, used the pedal machine 37.7% of all working intervention days and pedalled an average of 31.1 min/day.

Conclusions These findings suggest that the intervention was engaging and resulted in reductions in daily sedentary time among full-time sedentary employees. These findings hold public health significance due to the growing number of sedentary jobs and the potential of these technologies in large-scale worksite programmes.

Trial Registration #NCT01371084.

  • sedentary
  • worksite
  • technology

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