Sedentary Behaviour and Diabetes Information as a Source of Motivation to Reduce Daily Sitting Time in Office Workers: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial

Appl Psychol Health Well Being. 2020 Jul;12(2):449-470. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12190. Epub 2020 Jan 24.


Background: Using the motivational phase of the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA), this study examined whether sedentary behaviour and diabetes information is a meaningful source of motivation to reduce daily sitting time among preintending office workers.

Methods: Participants (N = 218) were randomised into HAPA-intervention (sedentary behaviour), HAPA-attention control (physical activity), or control (no treatment) conditions. Following treatment, purpose-built sedentary-related HAPA motivational constructs (risk perception, outcome expectancies, self-efficacy) and goal intentions were assessed. Only participants who had given little thought to how much time they spent sitting (preintenders) were used in subsequent analyses (n = 96).

Results: Significant main effects favouring the intervention group were reported for goal intentions: to increase number and length of daily breaks from sitting at work; to reduce daily sitting time outside of work; to increase daily time spent standing outside of work, as well as for outcome expectancies (p values ≤ .05; ɳp2 values ≥.08). Only self-efficacy (β range = 0.39-0.50) made significant and unique contributions to work and leisure-time-related goal intentions, explaining 11-21 per cent of the response variance.

Conclusions: A brief, HAPA-based online intervention providing information regarding sedentary behaviour and diabetes risk may be an effective source of motivation.

Keywords: health action process approach; intentions; intervention; motivation; sedentary behaviour.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / prevention & control
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Health Behavior* / physiology
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation* / physiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Sitting Position*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Workplace*