Public Response to Standing/Activity Research (02-03-17)

A team of British researchers, Gardner, Smith, and Mansfield, studied the general public’s response to research encouraging people to spend less time sitting at work.  Their findings indicate how important it is to effectively communicate with users when environments/objects are, or may be, changed.  The Gardner team report that “In June 2015, an expert consensus guidance statement was published recommending that office workers accumulate 2–4 h of standing and light activity daily and take regular breaks from prolonged sitting. This paper describes public responses to media coverage of the guidance. . . . Challenges were made [via public comments on the coverage] to the novelty of the guidance, the credibility of its authors, the strength of its evidence base, and its applicability to [real-world] UK workplaces. Public health was commonly mistrusted and viewed as a tool for controlling the public. . . . Interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour should seek to increase motivation by clearly communicating the health relevance of sitting, standing and light physical activity, in language easily understood by a general public that may lack sufficient interest to process nuanced messages discerning static and ‘active’ standing. . . . Such interventions might also present evidence to tackle potential disbelief in the health value of displacing sitting with standing.”

Benjamin Gardner, Lee Smith, and Louise Mansfield.  2017.  “How Did the Public Respond to the 2015 Expert Consensus Public Health Guidance Statement on Workplace Sedentary Behaviour?  A Qualitative Analysis.”  BMC Public Health,