Table_3_Feasibility of Reducing and Breaking Up University Students' Sedentary Behaviour: Pilot Trial and Process Evaluation.DOCX (144.33 kB)

Table_3_Feasibility of Reducing and Breaking Up University Students' Sedentary Behaviour: Pilot Trial and Process Evaluation.DOCX

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posted on 2021-06-10, 04:26 authored by Oscar Castro, Ineke Vergeer, Jason Bennie, Stuart J. H. Biddle

Background: Accumulating high levels of sedentary behaviour has been linked to poor health outcomes. This study examined the feasibility and preliminary, short-term effects of a theory-based intervention aimed at reducing total and prolonged sedentary behaviour in University students.

Design: A quasi-experimental (pre-post) pilot study. Methods: Nine ambulatory undergraduate students (Mean age = 22 ± 2.32) participated in a one-on-one session, including an educational component around the health effects of sedentary behaviour and three distinct activities (feedback, “pros and cons” exercise, and suggested behaviour change strategies). In addition, automated daily text messages targeting sedentary behaviour were sent for 6 days (four messages per day at fixed intervals). The Behaviour Change Wheel framework guided the intervention design process. Outcomes were assessed over 6 days in pre- and post-intervention periods and included accelerometer-based (activPAL) and self-reported (Nightly-Week-U) total sedentary time, as well as accelerometer-based number of steps and prolonged sedentary time. Students completed a process evaluation interview upon completing the trial.

Results: From pre- to post-intervention, there was a significant reduction in accelerometer-based total and prolonged sedentary time during weekend days. In addition, there was a significant increase in accelerometer-based standing time and stepping during weekend days. There were no statistically significant changes in accelerometer-based sedentary time, standing time or number of steps during weekdays. Process evaluation results indicated that the intervention and its assessment is feasible. Reductions in sedentary time were likely to be mediated by positive changes in the student's reflective and automatic motivation.

Conclusions: Findings from this small, short-term intervention suggest that a single one-on-one session, together with automated text messages, may help University students reduce sedentary behaviour and enhance movement during weekend days. Additional strategies to maximise the intervention effects are discussed (e.g., establishing a collaboration with University staff, introducing sit-to-stand desks, and/or facilitating social support). A randomised control trial assessing sedentary behaviour over a longer period is needed to adequately study the intervention's effectiveness.