One of BeUpstanding’s lead investigators, Associate Professor Genevieve Healy, presented at the recent national Musculoskeletal Disorders Symposium in June. The event was held virtually and hosted by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, on behalf of the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities in Australia, and featured international and national experts, industry case studies, and online exhibitors with the theme of MSD prevention by design. Genevieve’s presentation titled “Addressing sedentary behaviour: occupational sitting, an emerging workplace health and safety issue” focused on why excessive sedentary time has now been acknowledged as an emergent health and safety issue and potential solutions for supporting workers to sit less and move more. Genevieve also presented some early findings from the BeUpstanding national implementation trial we have currently underway, that are showing reductions in self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort scores in three areas (Lower back; Upper back, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hands; and hips, thighs, buttocks, knees, ankles, or feet), with nearly a 15% relative reduction overall. Promising early results! You can now view the presentation as well as some of the other presentations via this link. Happy watching!
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BeUpstanding is about supporting workers to sit less and move more through raising awareness and creating a supportive culture for change. At this stage, there is no individual support provided for staff (though stay tuned on that!). However, many of the BeUpstanding research team are also involved with the OPTIMISE study, which is about understanding how to support workers with type 2 diabetes to sit less and move more across the day and the benefits of doing so. Intervention participants receive a sit-stand workstation, a Fitbit, tailored feedback and health coaching to help support them set and achieve goals both during work time and outside of work time. The study is now seeking volunteers, so if you live in Melbourne, have type 2 diabetes, and have a sedentary job, and this sounds of interest, please get in touch with the OPTIMISE research team via this link. Check out the recent news item for some more information.
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The annual Active Sitting Survey® run in the UK found that 47% of office workers surveys spent nearly their whole working day (7+ hours) sedentary, up from 26% pre-pandemic. Two thirds of respondents also indicated that their workday sitting time had increased during lockdown. Active Working have been carrying out the annual survey of over 1000 participants since 2015. The survey also looked specifically at prolonged sedentary time, finding that 51% of public sector staff said they spend at least 90 minutes at a time seated each day compared to 39% of private sector colleagues. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom with 30% of respondents indicating that their boss cared about their health “very much”, up from 16% the previous year. The full press release can be found here.
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The International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) has paired up with WHO to run a series of webinars based on the release of the WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The latest one on the 4th March featured BeUpstanding principal investigator A/Prof Genevieve Healy as part of the line-up, talking about the evidence on how to reduce sedentary behaviour. Check out the video below. You can also catch the other webinars in the series at: https://www.ispah.org/resources/free-webinars/
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A new report, funded by Wellcome, explores the potential health risks associated with high levels of occupational sitting and methods to reduce excessive sitting in the workplace or home working environment. Below is a summary of the report, taken from here. A full summary of the report can be found here, while a summary presentation of our key findings can be found here, and a podcast can be found here. BeUpstanding investigators David Dunstan and Genevieve Healy were co-authors on the report, which was led by Aaron Kandola. Full author list: Aaron Kandola, Jessica Rees, Brendon Stubbs, David W Dunstan, Genevieve N Healy, Joseph F Hayes Background Due to the rising prevalence of desk-based work, excessive sitting represents an emerging occupational health and safety issue. Employed adults are typically sitting for over 9 hours per day. Spending large periods of the day seated with insufficient active breaks increases the risk of several physical and mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders. Allowing or facilitating excessive sitting in the workplace can affect employees’ mental health and compromise the duty of care between an employer and employee. Combatting excessive occupational sitting with regular breaks involving light activity for a couple of…
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By now we all know that the COVID-19 global pandemic has caused an unprecedented change in how and where people are working. Helping people to sit less and move more at work has been a key priority in recent years, with much of the focus being on the office workplace. The phrases ‘pre-COVID’ and ‘COVID-normal’ are thrown around a fair bit these days, but perhaps they are a fitting way to describe the shift that many desk-based workers have experienced. Even for those who have now returned to their workplaces, the ‘pre-COVID’ work environment is likely to be quite different to the ‘COVID-normal’ workplaces many are now working in. Other workers have seen a complete (perhaps long term) shift to working remotely, or a mix of both. What remains, however, is the need to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for everyone. We do not yet know the long-term impacts of these current changes to our work environment, but we do know that there is a clear need to continue to help workers to be able to sit less and move more, regardless of where they are working. The term ‘desk-based workers’ rather than ‘office workers’ is a term we often…
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On September 1st, BeUpstanding celebrated three years of going online. In that time, we have had over 650 workplaces unlock the toolkit, with potentially more than 56,000 staff exposed to the program! We have also published over 100 blogs! Of course, the journey to supporting workers to sit less and move more has been a lot longer than that, spanning over a decade and resulting in a substantial body of evidence into what works. The data collected through BeUpstanding is making an important contribution to this evidence base as it is examining how well the program works when it is delivered in a widely-accessible format and without direct support from researchers. Key questions we are interested in are: who is taking up the program, how are they running the program, how effective is the program, the costs of the program, and the sustainability of any changes. We received funding from the NHMRC Partnership Project scheme to address these questions in the context of a national implementation trial. Teams who sign up to the trial must commit to completing all the evaluation elements in the program, as well as complete an additional evaluation approximately 9 months after program completion to understand…
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Dr Ana Goode and A/Prof Genevieve Healy – the lead investigators on BeUpstanding – featured on the latest episode of the Physical Activity Researcher podcast – a Finnish initiative. They discuss the evidence that underpins BeUpstanding, the impact of COVID-19 on the program, and some simple strategies workplaces can do right away to start sitting less and moving more. Enjoy!
This article was posted by the ABC online on the 31st March, 2020. You can find the original article here. Working from home during coronavirus shutdown? These hacks may help keep ease the pain of your home office ABC Health & Wellbeing – By Genelle Weule Working from home can be physically and psychologically challenging. (Getty Images: Planet Flem) Kitchen benchtops and dining room tables around Australia have become workspaces as office workers have been advised to work from home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Where the opportunity to work from home in your PJs might have once seemed like a treat, the rapid shift to working from home — if that is even an option for you — is challenging. Suddenly, you may find yourself working in the same space as your family, bent over a laptop instead of sitting or standing at a dedicated workstation with ergonomic equipment. The combination of long hours on a laptop on the kitchen table can be both physically and psychologically stressful over the long haul. “It’s worth investing some time thinking about how to make this work to protect your physical and mental wellbeing,” said Jodi Oakman, who leads the Centre for Ergonomics and Human…
I was perusing the British movement blog Get Britain Standing when I came across their solutions page. Get Britain Standing is a resource for employers much like Australia’s BeUpstanding, which focuses on a healthier Britain by reducing the prolonged hours of sitting that accompany many jobs. Their upcoming nationwide event On Your Feet Britain is set for April 24th 2020 with a reported ~2 million office workers participating. Get Britain Standing accounts that Briton’s working hours contribute ~70% of the daily sedentary health burden. Dr. Stuart Biddle, a professor of Active Living and Public Health is quoted on their website acknowledging the growing body of evidence that to be healthy we must move dynamically throughout the day. Which leads me to what excited me about their Solutions page: the balance board section! The benefit being, as long as you don’t fall off, strengthening your balance and your core muscles at your standing desk. They come in a variety of styles from the simple sea-saw, the log roll, and even the expert level half dome or as I like to call it the danger dome! (see image) Maybe don’t tell HR about the nickname when you bring one to the office.…