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Breaking the habit? Identifying discrete dimensions of sitting automaticity and their responsiveness to a sitting‑reduction intervention


Gardner, B and Mainsbridge, CP and Rebar, AL and Cooley, PD and Honan, C and O'Brien, JA and Pedersen, SJ, Breaking the habit? Identifying discrete dimensions of sitting automaticity and their responsiveness to a sitting‑reduction intervention, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine pp. 1-9. ISSN 1532-7558 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright (2023) Springer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12529-023-10155-4



Growing evidence suggests that sitting is activated automatically on exposure to associated environments, yet no study has yet sought to identify in what ways sitting may be automatic.


This study used data from a 12-month sitting-reduction intervention trial to explore discrete dimensions of sitting automaticity, and how these dimensions may be affected by an intervention. One hundred ninety-four office workers reported sitting automaticity at baseline, and 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months after receiving one of two sitting-reduction intervention variants.


Principal component analysis extracted two automaticity components, corresponding to a lack of awareness and a lack of control. Scores on both automaticity scales decreased over time post-intervention, indicating that sitting became more mindful, though lack of awareness scores were consistently higher than lack of control scores.


Attempts to break office workers’ sitting habits should seek to enhance conscious awareness of alternatives to sitting and afford office workers a greater sense of control over whether they sit or stand.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sitting, sedentary behaviour, habit, automaticity, behaviour, health psychology
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Mainsbridge, CP (Mr Casey Mainsbridge)
UTAS Author:Cooley, PD (Associate Professor Dean Cooley)
UTAS Author:Honan, C (Dr Cynthia Honan)
UTAS Author:O'Brien, JA (Dr Jane O'Brien)
UTAS Author:Pedersen, SJ (Dr Scott Pedersen)
ID Code:155263
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2023-02-08
Last Modified:2023-03-20

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