Stand More AT Work (SMArT Work): using the behaviour change wheel to develop an intervention to reduce sitting time in the workplace

Background: Sitting (sedentary behaviour) is widespread among desk-based office workers and a high level of sedentary behaviour is a risk factor for poor health. Reducing workplace sitting time is therefore an important prevention strategy. Interventions are more likely to be effective if they are theory and evidence-based. The Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) provides a framework for intervention development. This article describes the development of the Stand More AT Work (SMArT Work) intervention, which aims to reduce sitting time among National Health Service (NHS) office-based workers in Leicester, UK. Methods: We followed the BCW guide and used the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) model to conduct focus group discussions with 39 NHS office workers. With these data we used the taxonomy of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTv1) to identify the most appropriate strategies for facilitating behaviour change in our intervention. To identify the best method for participants to self-monitor their sitting time, a sub-group of participants (n = 31) tested a number of electronic self-monitoring devices. Results: From our BCW steps and the BCT-Taxonomy we identified 10 behaviour change strategies addressing environmental (e.g. provision of height adjustable desks,), organisational (e.g. senior management support, seminar), and individual level (e.g. face-to-face coaching session) barriers. The Darma cushion scored the highest for practicality and acceptability for self-monitoring sitting. Conclusion: The BCW guide, COM-B model and BCT-Taxonomy can be applied successfully in the context of designing a workplace intervention for reducing sitting time through standing and moving more. The intervention was developed in collaboration with office workers (a participatory approach) to ensure relevance for them and their work situation. The effectiveness of this intervention is currently being evaluated in a randomised controlled trial.