JMIR Publications

Interactive Journal of Medical Research

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Currently submitted to: Interactive Journal of Medical Research

Date Submitted: Sep 20, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 20, 2017 - Oct 11, 2017

NOTE: This is an unreviewed Preprint

Incorporating an activity tracker into an office workplace sitting intervention: usage, acceptability and behavioural impact

  • Charlotte L Brakenridge; 
  • Genevieve N Healy; 
  • Elisabeth A H Winkler; 
  • Brianna S Fjeldsoe

ABSTRACT

Background:

This study evaluated an activity tracker that targets sitting time, as part of a cluster-randomized workplace sitting intervention in office workers.

Objective:

To understand: 1) office workers’ self-directed tracker use; 2) individual-level characteristics associated with tracker use; 3) the impact of tracker use on activity and sitting behaviours; and, 4) office workers’ perceived tracker acceptability.

Methods:

Sixty-six office workers were randomly assigned a belt-worn LUMOback tracker that provides real-time sitting feedback through an app. Usage data (n=62), online questionnaires (n=33), and telephone interviews (n=27) were used to evaluate study aims.

Results:

Tracker uptake was modest (71%, n=43/61), and among users, usage over the first three months was low (1-48 days, median=8). Usage was greatest among team leaders and those with low self-perceived scores for job control and supervisor relationships. Greater tracker use (≥5 days versus <5) was significantly (P=.046) associated only with changes in prolonged sitting (-48 min/16h awake; 95%CI: -95, -1). Qualitatively, participants valued the real-time app feedback. Non-uptake was attributed to being busy and set-up issues. Low usage was attributed to discomfort wearing the tracker.

Conclusions:

Activity trackers that target sitting might be effective at reducing prolonged sitting in office workers. Trackers should be easy to set-up and comfortable to wear.

ClinicalTrial:

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12614000252617