Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work

The Cochrane Library, 26 January 2015

The number of people working whilst seated at a desk keeps increasing worldwide. As sitting increases, occupational physical strain declines at the same time. This has contributed to increases in cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Therefore, reducing and breaking up the time that people spend sitting while at work is important for health.

The objectives of this Cochrane Review are to evaluate the effects of workplace interventions to reduce sitting at work compared to no intervention or alternative interventions.

The study concludes that at present there is very low quality evidence that sit-stand desks can reduce sitting time at work, but the effects of policy changes and information and counselling are inconsistent. There is a need for high quality cluster-randomised trials to assess the effects of different types of interventions on objectively measured sitting time. There are many ongoing trials that might change these conclusions in the near future.

Click here to read the full paper.

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New report encourages rigorous evaluation of health and wellbeing programmes

NHS Employers, 21 November 2014

NHS Employers has published guidance that encourages NHS organisations to improve evaluation of their internal health and wellbeing programmes.

Findings from Evaluating Health & Wellbeing Interventions for Healthcare Staff show that financial pressure on the NHS will make it increasingly difficult for NHS boards to justify their own staff health and wellbeing programmes – unless more evidence and rigor is developed to assess their value.

The report provides evidence and describes ten key principles to help enhance evaluation of these programmes:

  • ensure the purpose of the evaluation is determined
  • establish your evaluation criteria
  • plan, prepare and where possible document the evaluation design
  • look for change
  • consider the long-term impacts of an intervention
  • consider the bigger picture
  • senior management engagement
  • build a capacity and capability for evaluation
  • ensure there is focus on process as well as on the outcome
  • effective communication and understanding of evaluation findings.

 It also recommends that NHS organisations increasingly share and develop a detailed evidence base, helping to explore what works and what doesn’t.

Click here for further information and to download the guidance.

16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence

Public Health England, 25 November 2014

Ahead of the 16 Days of Action campaign against domestic violence, Public Health England (PHE) has launched a violence toolkit for businesses: a step by step guide for businesses on how they can tackle domestic violence and raise awareness of an issue that impacts health, wellbeing, and absence and turn over in the workplace.

The toolkit is aimed at all businesses, specifically those that lack the occupational health or HR infrastructure to tackle an issue like domestic violence in working environments and provides practical tools and resources to help businesses take action over the 16 Days (25 November to 10 December) 2014, from raising awareness internally using posters and internal communications messaging, to being visible daily through social media, blogs and podcasts. It also provides briefings for members of staff on how to address the issue.

Click here for more information and to access the toolkit.