TOTAL WORKER HEALTH® TOOLKIT
INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE THROUGH SAFETY, HEALTH, AND WELL-BEING
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
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.
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.
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:
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.)
Training and behavior tracking for both managers and employees
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. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063230
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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2021.106311
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, http://sohp-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-Spring.pdf.
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.