Office Workers’ Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Taking Regular Micro-breaks at Work: A Diary-Probed Interview Study

  • Yitong Huang
  • Steve Benford
  • Hilde Hendrickx
  • Rob Treloar
  • Holly Blake
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10171)


Research has suggested regular breaks in sedentary office work are important for health, wellbeing and long-term productivity. Although many computerized break reminders exist, few are based on user needs and requirements as determined by formative research. This paper reports empirical findings from a diary-probed interview study with 20 office workers on their perceived barriers and facilitators to taking regular micro-breaks at work. This work makes two contributions to the Persuasive Technology (PT) community: a diagnosis of the full range of determinants and levers for changing office work break behaviours; a demonstration of applying the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW), an intervention development framework originating from Health Psychology, to elicit theory-based design recommendations for a potential PT.


Workplace sedentary behaviour Requirement elicitation method 



We would like to thank Kathryn Morgan and Rachael Travers for helping transcribe interviews, and Anna Roberts for reviewing the coding and intervention mapping. This research was supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (RCUK Grant No. EP/L015463/1) and by the RCUK’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute (RCUK Grant No. EP/G065802/1) and Unilever UK Ltd. The study received ethics approval from School of Computer Science Ethics Committee, University of Nottingham.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yitong Huang
    • 1
  • Steve Benford
    • 1
  • Hilde Hendrickx
    • 2
  • Rob Treloar
    • 2
  • Holly Blake
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Unilever R&DSharnbrookUK

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