About the Study

Physical activity levels in the British public are worryingly low and time spent sitting high. Both of these factors have a negative effect on our nation's health. At least half of all people in the UK have desk-based office jobs and spend a large proportion of their day sitting. This means the workplace could hold a 'captive audience' for promotion of activity and breaks in sitting time.

The Active Buildings study is a unique investigation into how the spatial layout of office buildings influences the step count and sitting time of office workers. World experts in Epidemiology & Public Health, Health Psychology, the Built Environment & Spatial Design are working together to develop novel ways of capturing indoor movement as assess building potential for activity generation.

The study’s initial aim is to examine the relationships between different features of the office environment and office workers’ step count, sitting time and movement through the workplace. We draw on expertise from a multi-disciplinary team to do this, using a combination of spatial analysis tools, surveys and cutting-edge technology to collect and analyse our data. We hope the information gathered in this study will allow us to determine if there are ways we can reorganise offices to reduce sitting time and increase step counts.

Active Buildings is the result of an exciting collaboration between the UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture. It is funded as part of a wider £20 million initiative by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through its newly-funded prestigious School for Public Health Research (SPHR).