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Time for break: Understanding information workers' sedentary behavior through a break prompting system

conference contribution
posted on 2019-04-17, 00:00 authored by Y Luo, B Lee, DY Wohn, Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, DE Conroy, EK Choe
Extended periods of uninterrupted sedentary behavior are detrimental to long-term health. While prolonged sitting is prevalent among information workers, it is difficult for them to break prolonged sedentary behavior due to the nature of their work. This work aims to understand information workers' intentions & practices around standing or moving breaks. We developed Time for Break, a break prompting system that enables people to set their desired work duration and prompts them to stand up or move. We conducted an exploratory field study (N = 25) with Time for Break to collect participants' work & break intentions and behaviors for three weeks, followed by semistructured interviews. We examined rich contexts affecting participants' receptiveness to standing or moving breaks, and identified how their habit strength and self-regulation are related to their break-taking intentions & practices. We discuss design implications for interventions to break up periods of prolonged sedentary behavior in workplaces. © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery.


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Montreal, QC, Canada


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Place of Publication

New York, NY

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

University of Maryland, Microsoft Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018)