Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2022;48(5):399-409    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.4022 | Published online: 25 Mar 2022, Issue date: 01 Jul 2022

Cost and cost-effectiveness of the ‘Stand and Move at Work’ multicomponent intervention to reduce workplace sedentary time and cardiometabolic risk

by Michaud TL, You W, Estabrooks PA, Leonard K, Rydell SA, Mullane SL, Pereira MA, Buman MP

Objective Few studies have reported the cost and cost-effectiveness of workplace interventions to reduce sedentary time. The purpose of this study was to complete an economic evaluation of a multilevel intervention to reduce sitting time and increase light-intensity physical activity (LPA) among employees.

Methods We conducted a retrospective within-trial cost and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to compare a 12-month multilevel intervention with (STAND+) and without (MOVE+) a sit-stand workstation, across 24 worksites (N=630 employee participants) enrolled in a cluster randomized clinical trial. We estimated the intervention costs using activity-based costing strategy. The intervention costs were further expressed as per person and per worksite. CEA was conducted using an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) metric, expressed as costs for additional unit of sitting time (minute/day), LPA (minutes/day), cardiometabolic risk score, and quality-adjusted life years (QALY) increased/decreased at 12 months. We assessed the cost analysis and CEA from the organizational (ie, employer) perspective with a one-year time horizon.

Results Total intervention costs were $134 and $72 per person, and $3939 and $1650 per worksite for the STAND+ (N worksites = 12; N employees = 354) and MOVE+ (N worksites = 12; N employees = 276) interventions, respectively. The ICER was $1 (95% CI $0.8–1.4) for each additional minute reduction of workplace sitting time (standardized to 8-hour workday); and $4656 per QALY gained at 12 months. There was a modest and non-significant change of loss of work productivity improvement (-0.03 hours, 95% CI -4.16–4.09 hours), which was associated with a $0.34 return for every $1 invested.

Conclusions The multi-level intervention with sit-stand workstations has the potential to be widely implemented to reduce workplace sitting time. Future research into work productivity outcomes in terms of cost-benefits for employers is warranted.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2020;46(2):127-142  2018;44(5):503-511