Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #242
CE Offered: BACB
Increasing Strategic Movement in the Workplace and How Personal Quantification Can Help
Sunday, May 28, 2017
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: PRA/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University)
CE Instructor: Stephen Ray Flora, Ph.D.

Prolonged occupational sitting is a risk factor for several negative health outcomes (e.g., coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal injuries), and increasing computer-based work increases health risks associated with inactivity. Research suggests that supplementary work breaks reliably minimize discomfort and eye strain without impairing productivity (Galinsky, Swanson, Sauter, Dunkin, Hurrell, & Schleifer, 2007). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014), the suggested activity standard for adults is 150 minutes per week; this can be broken down into increments as little as 10 minutes. Given these standards, research may evaluate the impact of short, strategically placed exercise breaks throughout workday. The current symposium brings together studies that explore potential techniques for strategically increasing physical movement in the workplace to evaluate the effects of physical movement, both during work tasks and while on breaks, on worker performance and wellbeing. The first study investigated the effects of physical movement and positioning on task performance, satisfaction, stress, and preference. The second study explored the effectiveness of quantitative feedback to reduce workplace physical inactivity and improve physical activity for university and healthcare office workers. The premise for the third study was based on the contention that some have suggested that extrinsic rewards, and simply measurement of human behavior itself, has a detrimental effect on intrinsic motivation. In this symposium, the authors discuss how measuring physical activity/inactivity can influences individual behavior and whether and how personal quantification devices affect perceived enjoyment and interest in engaging in physical movement.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Feedback, Intrinsic Motivation, Personal Quantification, Physical Activity

Effects of Physical Movement and Positioning on Work Performance and Wellbeing

JULIE M. SLOWIAK (University of Minnesota Duluth)

This two-part study consisted of two related experiments to examine the effects of physical movement on both wellbeing and work performance using a computer-based medical transcription data entry task. In both experiments, 36 participants (college students) were assigned to one of three of possible movement or positioning conditions (e.g., sitting, standing, moving) while taking a break from the work task (experiment 1) or while engaged in the work task (experiment 2). The effects of movement or positioning on measures of satisfaction, stress, preference, and computer task performance were examined. Initial analysis of the results of both experiments suggest that physical movement during work breaks or positioning while engaged in the work task neither improves nor hinders work performance. However, when performance in the sitting and standing conditions were combined into a single “non-movement / stationary” condition to compare performance between “stationary” and “movement” conditions, results revealed higher performance in the movement conditions. Implications, future research, and recommendations are discussed.


Evaluating Feedback on Workplace Physical Inactivity

NICHOLAS GREEN (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)

Excessive sitting, or too much physical inactivity, is a known health risk to the modern office worker. This study evaluated the effectiveness of quantitative feedback with university and healthcare office workers on workplace physical inactivity. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to evaluate various phases of education, feedback, and modified feedback. The delivery of daily feedback improved physical activity for 4/9 participants. These results suggest that the consequence-based procedures are necessary to affect this target behavior. Future research and recommendations are discussed.

The Psychological Benefits of Personal Quantification: Hidden in Plain Sight
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Some Academics who argue “extrinsic rewards (ie. Reinforcement) undermine intrinsic interest” are now claiming that even measuring human behavior is detrimental to motivation and interest claiming “hidden costs of personal quantification.” In the present study two groups of highly motivated exercise enthusiasts - bicyclists at a cycling camp on the island of Mallorca Spain and members of a northeast Ohio triathlon club – were surveyed about their enjoyment of exercising (cycling/running) and if use of personal quantification devices such as cycling computers increased enjoyment. Preliminary data analysis suggests that rather than undermining interest, use of personal quantification devices makes the activities involving the devices more enjoyable and interesting.



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