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Physical activity in the workplace

A Medical Research Council grant supports a project to examine the acceptability and feasibility of increasing standing and reducing sitting in offices. Macmillan Cancer Support has funded a PhD to examine the effect of sit-stand desks on sitting, standing and physical activity for those working in offices (supported by Public Health England).

A Medical Research Council funded project employs a multidisciplinary, staged, mixed-methods approach to assess how workers may respond to interventions promoting standing in normally-seated workplace practices. The research assesses responses to standing in opportune settings, investigates the potential for standing to affect productivity, and informs and tests acceptability of a habit-based behaviour change intervention promoting standing at work. The work is being completed in collaboration with colleagues at King’s College London, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Chester.

Macmillan Cancer Support and Public Health England are supporting a PhD study (Jennifer Hall) examining the effect of sit-stand desks on sitting, standing and physical activity in the workplace. The study uses mixed methods to consider the outcomes and processes associated with providing sit-stand desks to office workers.

Impact statement

Our work on sitting, standing and physical activity in the workplace focuses on understanding and developing effective worksite physical activity programmes to be developed, implemented and adhered to in the long-term. We focus on examining the diversity of desk-based occupations in office environments, with workers from across the socioeconomic spectrum and capture the complex organisational structures that impact on physical activity and inactivity in the workplace.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project


Related Research Group(s)

Sedentary Behaviour, Health and Disease

Sedentary Behaviour, Health and Disease - Investigating the relationship of sedentary behaviour with health and wellbeing; evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to reduce and break up sedentary behaviour.


Project last modified 29/01/2021