Reducing Sedentary Behaviours in Rural Communities.

communities fitness support Jun 16, 2020

Reduce Sedentary Behaviour time
The objective of this report is to explore the effectives of a number of strategies to reduce the number of sedentary hours in rural corporate companies that have limited health and fitness facilities. The proposed strategies include incorporating corrective exercises , standing desks and a physical activity schedule in the workplace to reduce sedentary behaviours over a 6 week period. Testing measures will be utilised to assess the effectives of these proposed measures to reduce the time spent in sitting.


Sedentary behaviour is associated with injuries and pain, such as lower back, neck, shoulders and feet related issues along with weight loss and general poor health. This is more common in rural country towns due to there being limited exercise facilities such as gyms, sporting clubs, running/ walking tracks, along with minimal health care professionals. Rural communities more frequently exceed sedentary guidelines along with the lack of sedentary interventions Cleland et al. (2017) has provided information that these sedentary population interventions are not being used enough.
A high percentage of this rural and remote population when compared with city community are over weight and have uncontrolled pain management programs due to the fact that they are exceeding the sedentary behaviour guideline. The focus of this report is to explore the opportunity and effectiveness of intervening in this sedentary behaviour in rural corporates by incorporating a number of strategies in the workplace.
Reducing sedentary time will be the priority as in taking steps to reduce sedentary time the negative affects of a sedentary lifestyle mentioned above such as lower back, neck, shoulder and feet issues and pain will automatically be reduced.
It is proposed that a dedicated number of participants will have access to a standing desk which studies have proved not only reduces sedentary time but also improve over all health and improve job performance. BMJ (2019) states that reducing sedentary seated times has a huge impact on workplace performance which leads to a major impact on the community.
Not only are corporates at risk of excessive sedentary time but they are also more prone to cardiovascular disease. Rippe 2000 noted that compared to rural farmers, office workers have longer sedentary time and less frequently break up their sedentary time during the course of a working day. NewsRX 2015
Socioecological factors and social determinants of health relevant and appropriate for this population/community

Education and acknowledging the corporate work forces sedentary behaviours to reduce injuries and with the following sociological factors.
Distance between residence and workplace
Number of hours of work required
Availability of annual health professional check ups
Legal requirements related to regular scheduled breaks
Rotation of standing desk between employees.

Availability of standing work stations
Area with sufficient space to include corrective exercise equipment

Management attitude to team building exercises
Support from management
Support from co-workers
Environmental accessibility of lunch time walking sessions

Individual behavioural changes and understanding of health benefits of non-sedentary behaviour.

The social determinants of health are more considerable for rural corporates. The corporate social environment places a high importance on peer acceptance. Corporates face social exclusion and more at its worst, discrimination. This could result in corporates being less open and in fact resistant to change if the change risks social exclusion in the corporate environment. Supportive social communities will play a big part bringing employees closer together for optimal support. Excessive sedentary time can lead to illness and possibly the inability to work. This also has a huge broader affect on the community with increased unemployment and workers compensation.

Participants will be a variety of 20 male and 20 female office workers who are aged between 30-50 and who spend 6 or more hours per day at a desk.

Participants will be emailed via work place manager. The recruitment time will be 4 weeks with participation starting 2 weeks after that over a 6 weeks intervention. Regular emails will be sent on weekly intervention schedules, along with and initial consultation/ physical examination with the company doctor.

Email to Participants
Dear valued employee, we as a rural corporate company are undertaking an intervention to reduce sedentary behaviours. This will include participation in more frequent regular breaks along with a designated area for corrective exercise in the work place and scheduled lunch time activities. We also propose to allocate a number of standing desks to be utilised on a rotating basis. We will introduce a policy supporting the reduction of sedentary behaviour to support your endeavours in this regard.
We are looking for 20 males and 20 females to participate in this intervention over a 6 week period.
20 of these will be exposed to standing desk using a device to measure sitting times.
Please respond to this email if you would like to participate, applications close 4 weeks from today.
Thank you, your manager….

The intervention strategies will be implemented splitting the into 2 groups of 10 male and 10 female a controlled group of 10 male and 10 females with the same intervention just additional weekly rotation of using a standing desk. A device will be used placed on the hip to measure total sitting times through 9am -5pm Monday – Friday during usual working hours, this will be measured and weeks 2, 4 and 6.
All participants will meet with the company physician to undergo a medical prior to the week starting.
A goal setting form will be completed prior to intervention to keep a positive outlook towards external physical activity.

The 3 standing desks will be introduced to the 20 participants in week 1 along with an additional information session to understand operational requirements along with the benefits.

There will also be a planning session for all stakeholders including the corporate manager, HR manager, personal trainer and physio therapist to understand the outcomes of the interventions (reducing sedentary behaviour) along with understanding the work place policies and employees.

The participants will be educated not only during the corrective exercise classes but also during regular weekly scheduled workshops specifically delivered on reducing sedentary behaviour/time. The education will also include the latest information linking sedentary behaviour to weight gain and injury.

All managers and stakeholders will be encouraging a 10 minute break every hour so that employees may participate in corrective exercises with specific equipment set up in a private room in the office. Further all managers and stakeholders will facilitate and encourage the participation in lunch time movement sessions.
The management have allocated in their budget for 3 standing workstation desks that will be rotated over the 20 participants on a daily basis.

Weekly email campaigns will be used to educate employees outside regular working hours to create a greater impact during work hours.

Week 1/ benefits of foam rolling
Week 2/ benefits of stretching
Week 3/ Benefits of regular breaks in work place and how to implement.
Week 5/ Benefits of strength and conditioning
Week 6/ benefits of walking and or running outside office hours (Long term)

As per the guidelines the main objectives of this intervention are to break up long periods of sitting along with minimising the time spent sitting.
Incorporating physical activity into the reduction of physical behaviour has been beneficial to reduce unhealthy weight gain and musculoskeletal problems.
(Australian Government Department of Health 2019)

The primary outcome is to reduce the sedentary time in the work office through making employees more aware of sedentary time using a variety of procedures, equipment and scheduled activities.

Social marketing campaign


As participants prepare for the populated interventions they will be motivated daily from managers and prompted in weeks leading up to the starting day, building confidence and reassuring of the benefits of seducing sedentary times.
Goal setting strategies will be promoted to create pathways towards physical activities but most importantly to keep focused on reducing sedentary behaviours.
Barriers will include- with only 3 standing desks this could be a problem with rotating work stations and could be a distraction initially.
Another barrier could be employees being open to trying physical activity on scheduled activities throughout the week.

Multiple images will be used with promotional and marketing text week leading into the starting date. This will be based around education and acknowledgement of sedentary behaviours and the effects.

A specific event will be created for the starting date of intervention along with a private group created with employees added into that private group. All stakeholders will also be in the group for support, education and marketing.
Posters will also placed around the office and in the lunch room and other employees will be encouraged to participate in lunch time walking sessions.

Sit or stand? Just be conscious.
This slogan will be used to identify consciousness off employees in the workplace and to get them thinking about the effects of sedentary behaviours.

Community-wide risk reduction

This population intervention has a large potential to have a wide risk reduction not only to the participants but to all employees in the workplace from observing participants actively participating generally they will want to be a part of it and possibly be encouraged to reduce there sedentary time and or participate in physical activity more frequently. With the marketing material being placed around the workplace they will be more inclined to see the visuals and again start to implement these strategies as a work place community, this will be infectious to the work place as groups work really well together with additional support, this will also have a major impact on reducing long term illness, disease and injury which is a major positive for rural corporate companies, due to the nature of the short term intervention other interventions will be scheduled through out the year to make up the long term goals and out comes of the company.

Ripp, James M 2000, Cor[orate Execs In Poor Health, Healthcare PR & Marketing news, vol.9, issue 5, pp. 1
2015, Health and medicine Studies conducted at university of south Australia on rural health recently reported (comparison of sedentary behaviours among rural men working in offices and on farms. pp.3315
V. Cleland, K. Squibb, L.Stephens, J, Daily, A. Timperio, T. Winzenberg, K. Bail (…) J. Dollman (2017). Effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity and/or decrease sedentary behaviour among rural adults: a systematic review and meta‚Äźanalysis, vol 18, no 7, pp. 727-741.
BMJ 2019, Sit-stand office desks cut daily sitting time and appear to boost job performance, viewed august 2019,
Australian Government Department of Health 2019, Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, viewed August 26th 2019,