Effectiveness of interventions on sedentary behaviors in office workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Cong Wang, Erin Yiqing Lu, Wen Sun, Jeremy Rui Chang, Hector Wing Hong Tsang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Objectives: Various interventions have sought to break sedentariness among office workers, but their pooled effect on sitting time reduction remains unknown. Also, it is essential to compare the effectiveness of different intervention types. Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: A literature search was conducted in the PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE (via EBSCO), PsycINFO, and Cochrane Library databases from inception to May 2, 2023. Two independent reviewers screened eligibility, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool 2.0. Randomized controlled trials aiming to reduce sitting at work were included. The primary outcome was sitting time at work per day. The secondary outcomes included cardiometabolic risk factors, psychological well-being, and work engagement. A random effects model was performed to synthesize continuous data as mean differences with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: Twenty-four studies with 3169 participants were included. All intervention types in combination significantly reduced workplace sitting by 38 min per workday (95% CI: −47.32 to −28.72; P < 0.001; I2 = 49.78%). Interventions using environmental support (ES), motivational strategies (MS), or multiple components (multi) had all shown a significant reduction in work-time sedentary behavior (SB) relative to control groups. Regarding secondary outcomes, no significant effects were observed in physical or psychological outcomes besides high-density lipoprotein. Conclusions: Findings suggest that SB reduction interventions are generally effective for reducing workplace sitting. Multi interventions with both ES and MS are recommended for future clinical applications. Future studies should aim not only to reduce SB but also to attain the benefits of SB reduction interventions on physical and psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Environmental support
  • Meta-analysis
  • Motivational strategies
  • Office workers
  • Sedentary behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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