A blended intervention to promote physical activity, health and work productivity among office employees using intervention mapping: a study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial

Yan Sun, Aiwei Wang, Siyue Yu, Martin S. Hagger, Xiangyan Chen, Shirley Siu Ming Fong, Chunqing Zhang, Wendy Yajun Huang, Julien S. Baker, Frédéric Dutheil, Yang Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Regular participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is related to decreased risk of morbidity and mortality. Among working populations, lack of MVPA may also be a risk factor for absenteeism and presenteeism. Both traditional workplace-based and web-based interventions have been suggested as being effective in promoting participation MVPA, health-related outcomes, and work-related productivity. However, several challenges limit their application in real world contexts. A 'blended' intervention approach combining the two intervention strategies is proposed to overcome these limitations. The proposed intervention aims to utilize the blended approach to increase participation in MVPA, health-related outcomes, and work productivity among inactive workers. METHODS: The study will comprise of a three-group cluster randomized controlled trial (cluster-RCT), comprising a three-month actual intervention and a nine-month behavioral follow-up period. The three groups will be: a web-based intervention group, a blended intervention group combining the web-based components with face-to-face workshops and posters, and a control group. Physically inactive office employees (N = 495) from 33 companies (i.e., clusters) will be recruited and randomly assigned to the three groups by cluster randomization. The intervention mapping (IM) framework will be used for selecting and applying effective health behavioral theories and behavioral change techniques (BCTs) to the development, implementation and assessment of the intervention, which will be personally tailored. The primary outcome variable will be objectively-measured MVPA using an accelerometer. Secondary outcomes will consist of indices of health including adiposity, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood lipids, self-reported depression, anxiety, stress, health-related quality of life and work-related variables including absenteeism and presenteeism. DISCUSSION: The proposed study adopts a robust blended intervention approach that is expected to overcome challenges in applying workplace-based and web-based interventions separately and yield larger effects in promoting MVPA participation, health-related outcomes and work productivity. Improvements in work productivity outcomes will be of particular interest to employers. If more effective, the new blended intervention has the potential to be implemented on a larger scale to benefit workplace populations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is prospectively registered at the ClinicalTrials.gov PRS (Trial ID: NCT04391270; Date of First Posted: May 18, 2020).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2020


  • Blended intervention
  • Health promotion
  • Office employees
  • Physical activity
  • Web-based intervention
  • Work productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this