Leicester Clinical Trials Unit

SMART Work and Life Trial

 Logo - Smart Work and Life Study


Email: smartworkandlife@leicester.ac.uk

Key Information

Trial Title

SMART Work & Life

A three arm cluster randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the SMART Work & Life intervention for reducing daily sitting time in office workers.

Chief Investigator 

Dr Charlotte Edwardson


University of Leicester


NIHR Public Health Research

Trial Registration Number



People whose job primarily involves desk based work spend a large proportion of their day sitting down at work and many of these individuals also sit a lot when they are at home. High levels of sitting have been linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. This makes office workers an ‘at-risk’ group and who should be targeted for lifestyle intervention. The research team has developed an intervention called SMART Work & Life that is designed to reduce the time that office workers spend sitting both inside and outside of work.

To test how effective the SMART Work & Life intervention, with and without a height-adjustable workstation is, office groups will be recruited, involving ~660 office workers within local councils. One third of office groups will receive the intervention and a height-adjustable workstation, one third will receive the intervention without a height-adjustable workstation and one third will act as a comparison group (carry on as normal). The research team will measure how much office workers sit during the day using a physical activity device worn on the thigh for 7 days. They will also take a number of measures of health including weight, body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol. Participants will be asked to complete some questions about their health and work. These measurements will be taken from all participants before the intervention begins, and again at 3, 12 and 24 months after the first set of measurements.

Experiences of the office workers and workplace champions will be collected throughout the intervention delivery period. The research team will also test whether the intervention, with and without a height-adjustable desk, is value for money.

Number of Participants

The study involves ~660 office-based employees within Councils in Leicester, Manchester and Liverpool areas randomised into three different clusters (~220 per arm).

Trial Design

This is a three arm cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). A cluster is a defined office space. Each cluster is randomised to receive one of the following conditions:

  1. The multi-component SMART Work & Life intervention with a height-adjustable desk or desk platform (intervention 1),
  2. The multi-component SMART Work & Life intervention without a height-adjustable desk or platform (intervention 2), or
  3. Usual practice (control condition).


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