Published: 2022-06-28

Action planning and coping planning based intervention on physical activity practice among desk-based office employees: a non-randomized explanatory mixed method study

Murali Krishnan Nambirajan, Dhanajayan Govindan, Namita Patel, Gautam Roy, Subitha Lakshminarayanan


Background: Desk-based office workers have sedentariness in the workplace due to the nature of their work. So we aimed to determine the effect of action planning and coping planning based physical activity intervention among participants and explore its utility.

Methods: This study was conducted among office staff employed in six to eight hours of desk- based office work of JIPMER, Puducherry during November 2020 to January 2021. Simple random sampling of employees from available database was done to select 150 participants based on inclusion criteria. Intervention was individual specific action and coping planning for physical activity (PA). Change in the level of PA and its stage, body composition parameters and step-counts were measured at end-line to assess the effect of intervention supported by the qualitative interviews.

Results: An adequate level (≥600 METS) of physical activity among participants in the intervention group increased by 42% among Total MET minutes spent (p<0.001). Muscle mass improved in the intervention arm by 4% (p>0.001).  

Conclusions: Implementation plan is effective in improving the physical activity level of the participants and adopting healthy PA behaviour and advocates for health promoting workplace.


Physical activity, Barrier elicitation, Action and coping planning, Desk-based office employees, Healthy workplace

Full Text:



Jirathananuwat A, Pongpirul K. Promoting physical activity in the workplace: A systematic meta-review. J Occup Health. 2017;59(5):385-93.

Anjana RM, Pradeepa R, Das AK, Deepa M, Bhansali A, Joshi SR, et al. Physical activity and inactivity patterns in India - results from the ICMR-INDIAB study (Phase-1) [ICMR-INDIAB-5]. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014;11(1):26.

Silva MAVD, João TM, Brizon VC, Franco DH, Mialhe FL. Impact of implementation intentions on physical activity practice in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0206294.

WHO. Global recommendations on physical activity for health, 2010. Available at: https://www.who. int/publications/i/item/9789241599979. Accessed on 10 May 2022.

Kar S, Lakshminarayanan S, Ramalingam A, Naik B, Akkilagunta S. Burden of Occupational Health Problems and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Selected Industrial Population in South India: Should We be Concerned. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2015;6.

Orbell S, Sheeran P. Motivational and Volitional Processes in Action Initiation: A Field Study of the Role of Implementation Intentions. J App Social Psych. 2006.

Stankevitz K, Dement J, Schoenfisch A, Joyner J, Clancy SM, Stroo M, Østbye T. Perceived Barriers to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Among Participants in a Workplace Obesity Intervention. J Occup Environ Med. 2017;59(8):746-51.

Mathew V, Akkilagunta S, Kumar D, Lakshminarayanan S, Kar SS. Effectiveness of Pedometer-Based Walking Program to Improve Physical Activity of Workers in a Software Industry: An Experimental Study. Int J Prev Med. 2019;10:49.

Khalil SF, Mohktar MS, Ibrahim F. The theory and fundamentals of bioimpedance analysis in clinical status monitoring and diagnosis of diseases. Sensors (Basel). 2014;14(6):10895-928.

Nanda S, Hurt RT, Croghan IT, Mundi MS, Gifford SL, Schroeder DR, et al. Improving Physical Activity and Body Composition in a Medical Workplace Using Brief Goal Setting. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019;3(4):495-505.

Fernhall B, Silva A, Babu AS. The future of physical activity research: funding, opportunities and challenges. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;57(4):299-305.

Martins J, Marques A, Sarmento H, Carreiro F. Adolescents' perspectives on the barriers and facilitators of physical activity: a systematic review of qualitative studies. Health Educ Res. 2015;30(5):742-55.