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Call center employees with manager

Active Workplace


The Active Workplace toolkit is a program to help reduce sitting time at work and to provide training to help managers and supervisors better support workplace safety, health, and well-being for their employees. By reducing sedentary time and prolonged sitting at work, we can help improve worker health, safety, and well-being, reduce musculoskeletal pain, and reduce lost work time due to injury or illness.
Individual benefits of decreased sedentary time
and increased movement:
  • Improved mood and job satisfaction

  • Increased engagement at work

  • Decreased risk of chronic disease 

  • Decrease in pain

Kit de herramientas Ahora disponible en español!

Organizational benefits of decreased sedentary behavior and increased movement:
  • Higher overall productivity

  • Lower illness absence 

  • Enhanced recruitment and retention of talent

  • Improved team performance and culture of health 

Team Meeting

Active Workplace is a toolkit that was tested by 241 call center employees across 4 organizations 

The Active Workplace User Guide is available to help introduce your organization to the Active Workplace toolkit. This page provides an overview of the toolkit along with step-by-step components and instructions on how to implement the toolkit. The toolkit can be implemented as a whole program or separately between each of the components. 

Learn more about the toolkit through the Active Workplace one-pager in English or one pager in Spanish the Active Workplace Briefing Slides or Briefing Slide in Spanish to share with your workplace, leadership, and management about the benefits of the program where your organization can decrease sitting time at work and engage employees through a Total Worker Health® program.

Participate in YourWorkpath Program to get access to the entire toolkit, as well as additional incentives for your organization. You can help improve safety, health, and well-being in your organization, and contribute to occupational health research. Schedule a meeting through OHWC's Calendly link to learn more about this toolkit.

Visit the drop-down menu below to learn more about each component of the toolkit.

    The Start Guide is available to help introduce SHIP to your organization. This guide provides an overview of the toolkit along with step-by-step instructions on how-to implement. The Start Guide includes: SHIP One pager to learn more abou the toolkit SHIP Briefing Slides help inform leadership and managers about the benefits of the program and the SHIP process SHIP Implementation Checklist was developed to help workplaces get started in SHIP and identify roles that can help your workplace successfully implement the toolkit.
    The Online Supervisor Training is an essential aspect of Safety, Health and Improvement Program and outlines the importance of supervisor support in improving employee health and safety. SHIP supervisor training topics cover: Improving work-like balance and safety Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (FSSB) Safety Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (SSSB) Tracking your Supportive supervisor Behaviors Follow-up and check-ins with your team The training consists of these objectives: Showing you how leadership can improve the organizational climate on work-life balance and safety and health of their employees Providing insight on how to be supportive of employee work-life balance Highlights how to provide supervisor support for workplace safety Detailing the importance of team building and goal setting, as well as reducing inefficiencies for work processes There are 3 options to get access to the SHIP online training. Access to the online training is free to any organization wanting access. 1. The components of the SHIP toolkit are free and accessible at the following links below. If your organization is interested in using any SHIP training content/materials or access to Learning Managment System (LMS) training files, a licensing agreement must be in place. Please contact us to learn more and obtain a license or more information to the online training. The SHIP toolkit is protected under OHSU copyright. ACCESS THE SHIP ONLINE TRAINING (60 minute training) *Updated April 2021 2. Participate in YourWorkpath Program to gain access to the entire toolkit including additional incentives for your organization. Contribute to occupational health sciences research. 3. Customization, branding, and licensing of online training content for your organization's Learning Management System (LMS) is available. Contact us at Helen Schuckers,
    The Behavior Tracking activity is designed to improve the transfer of trained behaviors following the Online Supervisor Training. This activity involves your choice of using a: notecard, log, journal or phone app to set goals and track supportive behaviors. Choose a method that works best for your organization/team. Behavior tracking will take between 3 to 5 minutes per day over a two-week period. This activitly will help supervisors and managers reinforce what is learned in the online training, as well as track supportive supervisor patterns towards their employees. Download SHIP Behavior Tracking The SHIP Start-Guide includes a “how-to guide” to faciliate behavior tracking. The tracking activity has the following elements: Daily Tracking Card 3x5 index card option Lanyard card option There are also smart phone behavior tracking apps available to download from the Apple Store or Google Play. We recommend the below apps: Upkeep Momentum Habit-Bull *OHWC does not endorse or maintain the smart phone apps listed. They are additional options to track behaviors that are not paper-based.
  • 4. FOLLOW-UP
    Follow-up includes group discussion in which supervisors and their teams meet to brainstorm solutions to improve work practices, communication, and the work environment. Follow-up and check-ins for supervisors/managers and their employees are an essential aspect of SHIP that help ensure what is learned during the SHIP toolkit becomes embedded into everyday work practices. Included in the SHIP User Guide are components to ensure the success of the SHIP trainings. Follow-up guide with check-in and quick tools provide additional resources to promote supportive supervisor behaviors and work life support The Follow-up Guide were developed by our partners, WFD Consulting, and consists of work practice assessments and templates.

Our toolkits are continually going through improvements and changes to provide your organization with updated and relevant content. Active Workplace was last reviewed and updated in August 2021.

Ready to download the Active Workplace Toolkit?

Click the download button to access our download page to access our toolkit components. We collect anonymous surveys for internal reporting purposes only. Your information will never be used for marketing or sold to a third-party.

Why Adopt Active Workplace?

The results of the Active Workplace could impact many job industries. The number of sedentary jobs in the U.S. has increased steadily since the 1960s and there are currently over 30 million sedentary workers in the U.S. As the number of sedentary jobs in the U.S. continues to rise, effective methods to reduce sedentary behavior and exposure to sedentary work environments are increasingly important. Most employers have not treated sedentary work like a traditional safety or health hazard. 

Sedentary behavior is related to health outcomes such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal injury, and increased risk of all-cause mortality.


Call center employees are among the most sedentary workers in the U.S. They sit for up to 83% of work hours and are more likely to be sedentary during non-work time than employees in other sedentary jobs. Reduced sedentary time at work is related to:

  • Improved mood

  • Job satisfaction

  • General well-being


We developed Active Workplace to address  organizational concerns and improve employee outcomes. Find out more about how we developed Active Workplace.

The Active Workplace toolkit was developed by Dr. Brad Wipfli, PhD. Learn more about Dr. Wipfli and his research at OHSU.

The Science Behind Active Workplace

The Active Workplace was a NIOSH-funded study that was successfully implemented in call centers across the United States. The purpose of the study was to increase use of standing desks, by adding active workstation equipment (use of pedal stands) and to provide education, training, and accountability for supervisor/managers and employees in the concept of Total Worker Health to impact employee safety, health, and well-being in call center employees. Active workplace is a science-based toolkit tested by 241 call center workers across 4 organizations.​

Studies shows that using standing or active workstations reduces workplace sedentary time, reduces back pain and other musculoskeletal complaints, and increases light physical activity and overall calorie expenditure. Previous studies also found that reduced sedentary time at work is related to improved mood, job satisfaction, and general well-being. 

Pedal stands are an appealing option for reducing exposure to sedentary work because they do not impair job performance, are less expensive and more portable than treadmill desks, and they produce virtually no noise. To our knowledge, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center was among the first groups of researchers to conduct intervention research with pedal stand.

The Active Workplace components consist of:

  • Providing an active workstation (sit-stand desk, pedal stand, etc.)

  • Supervisor activities

  • Training and behavior tracking for both managers and employees

  • Team competitions 

  • Health and safety messaging

Active Workplace was tested in the x call centers with a sample of x employees.

This toolkit was adapted and revised to be used across different industries with sedentary working populations


Funding for Active Workplace was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH; grant: U19OH010154).

Active Workplace Publications

Wipfli, B., Wild, S., Richardson, D., & Hammer, L. (In Press). Work as a Social Determinant of Health – a necessary foundation for occupational health and safety. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002370

Wipfli, B., Wild, S., Donovan, C., Hanson, G. C., & Thosar, S. S. (2021). Sedentary work and physiological markers of health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(6), 3230.

Wipfli, B., Wild, S., Hanson, G. C., Shea, S. A., Winters-Stone, K., & Thosar, S. S. (2021). The active workplace study: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial with sedentary workers. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 103, 106311. Advance online publication.

Wipfli, B. & Wild, S. (2019). Sedentary Work and Measuring Physical Activity in Applied Sedentary Behavior Research. Society for Occupational Health Psychology Newsletter, Volume 21, 11-12,

Scientific publications for family support dimension of toolkit

Crain, T. L., Hammer, L. B., Bodner, T., Kossek, E. E., Moen, P., Lilienthal, R., & Buxton, O. M. (2014). Work–family conflict, family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and sleep outcomes. Journal of occupational health psychology, 19(2), 155.

Hammer, L. B., Ernst Kossek, E., Bodner, T., & Crain, T. (2013). Measurement development and validation of the Family Supportive Supervisor Behavior Short-Form (FSSB-SF). Journal of occupational health psychology, 18(3), 285. 

Hammer, L. B., Kossek, E. E., Anger, W. K., Bodner, T., & Zimmerman, K. L. (2011). Clarifying work–family intervention processes: The roles of work–family conflict and family-supportive supervisor behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1), 134.

Have questions? We're here to help.​

Contact us for more information and guidance on how we can help your organization be safe, healthy and well.

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