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Workplace interventions to improve sitting posture: a systematic review.

Swinton, Paul Alan; Cooper, Kay; Hancock, Elizabeth


Elizabeth Hancock


Evaluate the effectiveness of workplace interventions to improve sitting posture of workers that spend long periods of time seated at a visual display terminal. A systematic review of randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials and single-group intervention trials featuring workplace interventions with pre- and follow-up measurements of sitting posture was conducted (registered in PROSPERO, CRD#42015027648). Nine databases were searched for studies available between January 2005 and February 2016. 2519 articles were screened with 12 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. The included studies featured various ergonomic workplace interventions and comprised 4 randomised controlled trial (n = 457), 2 non-randomised controlled trials (n = 416) and 6 single-group intervention trials (n = 328). Due to clinical and methodological heterogeneity, pooling of data was not completed and a narrative summary of findings was developed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework. The evidence for four review outcomes was assessed with medium to large positive improvements obtained for the majority of studies investigating changes to gross sitting posture, whereas mixed findings were obtained for more specific local segment assessments of sitting posture. The overall evidence quality for all review outcomes were identified as either 'low' or 'very low'. There is evidence which is limited in quality to indicate that ergonomic workplace interventions can improve gross sitting posture. More high quality research across a range of intervention types is required with longer follow-up durations and more advanced methods to assess sitting posture with greater frequency and less bias.


SWINTON, P.A., COOPER, K., HANCOCK, E. 2017. Workplace interventions to improve sitting posture: a systematic review. Preventive medicine [online], 101, pages 204-212. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 21, 2017
Publication Date Aug 31, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2018
Journal Preventive Medicine
Print ISSN 0091-7435
Electronic ISSN 1096-0260
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 101
Pages 204-212
Keywords Low back pain; Ergonomics; Evidence based medicine; Musculoskeletal diseases
Public URL


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