Beyond Sedentary Workplaces: Research and Recommendations

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM (Pacific)

Presented By: Caitlin DeClercq

Researchers exploring the burgeoning field of sedentary physiology recently suggested that excessive sitting can prove harmful for our health, regardless of how much exercise we obtain. Yet, guidelines regarding safe or recommended levels of sedentary behavior are still uncommon and unstandardized at best. So, how much sitting is too much? Is there a difference between sitting at work and sitting at home? What can we do?

This session will guide newcomers to the topic of sedentary behavior through major themes in the research on prolonged sitting, offer insight into how to understand conflicting or incomplete findings, apply insights to the specific context of workplaces, and consider evidence-based implications for practice. Pulling from research and insights from the fields of public health and architecture, this session promises a unique, interdisciplinary take on the topic of sedentary behavior.

Learning Objectives

  • Define sedentary behavior, including energy expenditure levels, posture, and context –and articulate short- and long-term implications of excessive time in any single posture (sitting, standing, etc).

  • Discuss the challenges of studying this topic and of interpreting results.

  • Recognize the work-related implications of prolonged sitting, including and beyond worker health and well-being, and specific factors that impact sitting in the workplace.

  • Identify a range of implications for practice, including 2-3 interventions that have been evaluated in the literature, and understand their potential efficacy (advantages and disadvantages) in workplaces, particularly for knowledge workers or other sedentary professions.


Caitlin DeClercq earned a PhD in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017. Currently, Dr. DeClercq is a Core Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces at UC Berkeley and works remotely from her home in New York City. Her doctoral dissertation investigated the topic of sedentary behavior through architectural, historical, and public health lenses, as applied to the specific context of higher education campuses–the workplace of students, staff, and faculty alike. Prior to graduate school, Dr. DeClercq worked as a Health Educator at Berkeley. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed and professional journals, as well as in edited volumes published by Routledge and Bloomsbury.


Industrial Hygienists
ABIH® Diplomats may be eligible to earn up to 1.0 contact hours. Visit for more information.

Safety Professionals
Certified Safety Professionals may be eligible to earn up to 1.0 contact hours by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Visit for more information.

COEH Continuing Education Program (BRN Provider # 12983) has approved this webinar for 1.0 contact hours.


This event is made possible through the joint providership of The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health UC Berkeley, and Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces UC Berkeley.


healthy workplaces.jpg