A multi-component intervention to sit less and move more in a contact centre setting: a feasibility study

BMC Public Health. 2019 Mar 12;19(1):292. doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-6615-6.


Background: Call agents spend ~ 90% of their working day seated, which may negatively impact health, productivity, and wellbeing. This study aimed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of a multi-component workplace intervention targeting increased activity and decreased prolonged sitting in the contact centre setting prior to a full-scale effectiveness trial.

Methods: An 8-week non-randomised pre-post feasibility study was conducted. Using a mixed methods approach, focus groups and interviews were thematically analysed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of key study phases, and provide context to agents' process evaluation and survey responses. The multi-component intervention, conducted in a single call centre, included height-adjustable workstations, emails, education and training sessions, and support from team leaders and a workplace champion.

Results: Six (of 20) team leaders were recruited, with 17 of 84 call agents (78% female, 39.3 ± 11.9 years) completing baseline assessments and 13 completing follow-up. High workload influenced recruitment. Call agents perceived assessments as acceptable, though strategies are needed to enhance fidelity. Education sessions, height-adjustable workstations and emails were perceived as the most effective components; however, height-adjustable hot-desks were not perceived as feasible in this setting.

Conclusions: This study has identified unique, pragmatic considerations for conducting a multi-level, multi-component PA and SB intervention and associated evaluation in highly sedentary call agents in the challenging contact centre setting. The intervention was largely perceived positively, with call agents and team leaders describing numerous perceived positive effects on behavioural, health and work-related outcomes. Findings will be of value to researchers attempting to intervene in contact centres and will be used by the current authors to design a subsequent trial.

Keywords: Feasibility; Intervention; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Standing; Workplace.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Call Centers*
  • Exercise*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sitting Position*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires