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Currently submitted to: JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Date Submitted: Jan 21, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Jan 21, 2020 - Jan 28, 2020
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Using digitally augmented objects to reduce sedentary behavior in office workers: design and development of the WorkMyWay intervention

  • Yitong Huang; 
  • Dominic Price; 
  • Steve Benford; 
  • Holly Blake; 



Sedentary behavior (SB) is associated with various adverse health outcomes. The prevalence of prolonged sitting at work among office workers makes a case for SB interventions to target this setting and population. Everyday mundane objects augmented with embedded microelectronics and ubiquitous computing represent a novel mode of intervention delivery enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT). However, there is a lack of documentation of how these IoT-enabled interventions are developed and what research underpins the design, which hinders the replicability of research.


This paper documents the development of an IoT-enabled SB intervention targeting office workers, and details the resultant intervention, including its content, theoretical underpinnings, delivery plan and technology, and planned assessment of adherence and fidelity based on technology-captured data.


The process was guided by the Behavior Change Wheel (BCW), a systematic framework for theory-informed and evidence-based development of behavior change interventions, complemented by the human-centered design (HCD) approach. The design was shaped by findings from a diary-probed interview study and a stakeholder design workshop, along with a series of literature review, secondary analyses and interdisciplinary collaborations.


The resultant intervention, WorkMyWay, targets a reduction in office workers’ prolonged stationary behaviors at work and an increase in regular ambulatory breaks. It draws on 16 Behavior Change Techniques to address behavioural determinants in 11 theoretical domains. The intervention contents are underpinned by theories including the dual process model, goal setting theory, implementation intention, and modern habit theory. The delivery system, also called WorkMyWay, is composed of a wearable activity tracker, a reminder device attached to digitally augment a vessel, and a companion Android App connected to both devices over Bluetooth connection. The planned delivery consists of a 2-week baseline assessment, a 30-min face-to-face action planning session, and 6-week self-directed use of the WorkMyWay system.


Combining the BCW with HCD resulted in an IoT-enabled behavior change intervention that is informed by theories and balanced with stakeholder requirements. The intervention mapping table that specifies links between individual intervention components and the hypothesized mechanisms through which they can influence the target behavior will serve as the basis for theory-based evaluation. The next step is to assess the feasibility of WorkMyWay prior to testing efficacy in a full-scale trial.


Please cite as:

Huang Y, Price D, Benford S, Blake H

Using digitally augmented objects to reduce sedentary behavior in office workers: design and development of the WorkMyWay intervention

JMIR Preprints. 21/01/2020:17914

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.17914


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