A scoping review of digital tools to reduce sedentary behavior or increase physical activity in knowledge workers

A.A.J.M. (Ida) Damen (Corresponding author), J.G. Brombacher, Carine Lallemand, Rens G.A. Brankaert, Aarnout C. Brombacher, Pieter J.V. van Wesemael, Steven B. Vos (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There is increasing interest in the role that technology can play in improving the vitality of knowledge workers. A promising and widely adopted strategy to attain this goal is to reduce sedentary behavior (SB) and increase physical activity (PA). In this paper, we review the state-of-the-art SB and PA interventions using technology in the office environment. By scoping the existing landscape, we identified current gaps and underexplored possibilities. We discuss opportunities for future development and research on SB and PA interventions using technology. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in the Association for Computing Machinery digital library, the interdisciplinary library Scopus, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Xplore Digital Library to locate peer-reviewed scientific articles detailing SB and PA technology interventions in office environments between 2009 and 2019. Results: The initial search identified 1130 articles, of which 45 studies were included in the analysis. Our scoping review focused on the technologies supporting the interventions, which were coded using a grounded approach. Conclusion: Our findings showed that current SB and PA interventions using technology provide limited possibilities for physically active ways of working as opposed to the common strategy of prompting breaks. Interventions are also often offered as additional systems or services, rather than integrated into existing office infrastructures. With this work, we have mapped different types of interventions and provide an increased understanding of the opportunities for future multidisciplinary development and research of technologies to address sedentary behavior and physical activity in the office context.
Original languageEnglish
Article number499
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue The Vital Worker: Towards Sustainable Performance at Work


  • technological interventions
  • workplace
  • knowledge workers
  • scoping review
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behavior
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Physical activity
  • Technological interventions
  • Scoping review
  • Knowledge workers
  • Workplace
  • Humans
  • Exercise
  • Sedentary Behavior


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