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


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 science-based 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 or the Active Workplace Briefing Slides 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.

Active Workplace Toolkit Components


It is highly recommended to provide workers with active workstations (e.g. pedal stands, treadmill desks, etc.) and/or sit/stand desks so employees can be active while continuing to work. This provides the opportunity to truly integrate wellness into the work day.

Research shows that active workstations will not decrease productivity. Read the article here.

Participate in YourWorkpath Program to gain access to the entire toolkit for employees including additional incentives for your organization. You can help improve safety, health, and well-being in your organization, as well as contribute to occupational health research.


Supervisors and managers will help lead and faciliate monthly 15-minute Total Worker Health® team conversations around different safety, health, and well-being topics. Group discussions build a culture of health at your workplace, reinforce health practices and help employees feel supported by their supervisors

Topics include: -Ergonomics -Nutrition -Physical Activity -Sitting -Sleep Hygiene -Stress Management Click here to see an example of the supervisor activities from the Active Workplace toolkit.


Each month, supervisors/managers, and employees will receive a training on a topic to reinforce safe and healthy practices for sedentary workers. Each training is followed by goal setting and to help transfer the training into action.

Topics include: -Ergonomics and Injuries -Nutrition -Sitting -Sleep Hygiene -Stress Management -Supportive Supervision -Total Worker Health See an example of the training and goal setting activities from the Active Workplace toolkit. The PowerPoint presentation, as well as customization, branding, and licensing of training content or Learning Management System (LMS) options available. Visit YourWorkpath's Contact Us page.


Teams will compete to engage in the most minutes of physical activity at work (pedal, walk, stand, stretch, etc.) in one month. Competitions encourage employees to engage in the program and be more active in the workplace. The Active Workplace includes compeititon instructions and an activity sheet to help track physical activity among teams.

OHWC has put together an Easten and Western Oregon map for the team competition and an excel spreadsheet to help you team(s) track minutes of physical activity. Below is a photo example of the team competition map from the Active Workplace toolkit. The Active Workplace Compeition components can be found on the Active Workplace toolkit download page.


Posters for each health and safety topic are available to send virtually through team meetings or emails, as well as available to download and display in the workplace. These posters can support trainings, goal setting, and team conversations by reminding everyone to be more active and make healthy decisions throughout their work day.

Poster topics include: -Ergonomics -Nutrition -Physical Activity -Sitting -Sleep -Stress Management Click here to see an example of a health and safety poster on nutrition from the Active Workplace toolkit.


Supervisor & Manager Training -30 minute training to help supervisors and managers build their health and safety support and leadership skills. The PDF files area available to dowbload for this toolkit. Contact Us to get access to the PowerPoint or Learning Management System (LMS) file. This training will be followed by two activities: Supervisor Behavior Tracking and Inter-supervisor Observations. Supervisor Behavior Tracking - Behavior tracking involves supervisors and managers to set their own goal related to what they learned in the training. Supervisors will track their behavior towards their goal for a 14 day period and 1 to 2 minutes per day. Behavior tracking involves supervisors and managers showing employees support in work-life balance and role modeling in workplace safety, health, and well-being. Inter-supervisor Observations - Similar to the behavior tracking activity, supervisors and managers will observe and record how many times they see and/or hear another supervisor having a supportive conversation with an employee in their organization. This activity will take 14 days and will take approximately 1 to 2 minutes per day. This activity will help promote a culture of safety, health, and well-being in the workplace.

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.