TOPICS: Decision support systems and personalized interventions for workability sustainability; Unobtrusive and pervasive health monitoring at the workplace

SOURCE: SciTePress, 2021;  BOOK DOI Link, Chapter DOI Link

Breaking up Long Sedentary Periods of Office Workers through a Virtual Coach using Activity Data

Jasmijn Franke 1,2 ; Christiane Grünloh 1,2 ; Dennis Hofs 2 ; Boris Van Schooten 2 ; Andreea Bondrea 2 ; Miriam Cabrita 1,2,3

1   Biomedical Signals and Systems Group, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
2   eHealth Group, Roessingh Research and Development, Enschede, The Netherlands
3   Innovation Sprint Sprl, Brussels, Belgium


Office workers often lead sedentary lifestyles, a lifestyle responsible for higher risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and premature mortality. Improvements towards a more active lifestyle reduce cardiovascular risks and thus changing the sedentary lifestyle might prevent chronic illness. The Recurring Sedentary Period Detection (RSPD) algorithm described in this paper was designed to identify recurring sedentary periods using data from an activity tracker, summarise the sedentary periods and pinpoint notification times at which the user should be motivated to get some movement. The outcome of the RSPD algorithm was validated using data from a 10-week period of one typical office worker. Our results show that the RSPD algorithm could correctly identify the recurring sedentary periods, compute fitting daily summaries and pinpoint the notification times correctly. With minor differences, the RSPD algorithm was successfully implemented in the healthyMe smartphone application, one of the supporting services of the SMARTWORK project. Within the healthyMe application, an embodied virtual agent is used to communicate the daily summaries and motivate the user to move more at the identified notification times. Pilots planned as part of the SMARTWORK project will evaluate whether the RSPD algorithm helps to motivate office workers to break up sedentary periods.

Keywords: Physical Activity; Sedentary Periods; Sedentary Bouts; Inactive Periods; Inactive Bouts; Virtual Coach; Coaching; Embodied Conversational Agent; mHealth; eHealth

More Publications