Contact centre call agents are highly sedentary at work, which can negatively affect cardio-metabolic health. This qualitative cross-sectional study explored factors influencing call agents’ workplace physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB), and perspectives on strategies to help agents move more and sit less at work. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with call agents (n
= 20), team leaders (n
= 11) and senior staff (n
= 12) across four contact centres were guided by the socio-ecological model and analysed thematically. Agents offered insights into the impact of high occupational sitting and low PA on their physical and mental health, and factors influencing their motivation to move more and sit less at work. Team leaders, although pivotal in influencing behaviours, identified their own workload, and agents’ requirement to meet targets, as factors influencing their ability to promote agents to move more and sit less at work. Further, senior team leaders offered a broad organisational perspective on influential factors, including business needs and the importance of return on investment from PA and SB interventions. Unique factors, including continuous monitoring of productivity metrics and personal time, a physical connection to their workstation, and low autonomy over their working practices, seemed to limit call agents’ opportunity to move more and sit less at work. Proposed strategies included acknowledgement of PA and SB within policy and job roles, height-adjustable workstations, education and training sessions and greater interpersonal support. Additionally, measuring the impact of interventions was perceived to be key for developing a business case and enhancing organisational buy-in. Multi-level interventions embedded into current working practices appear important for the multiple stakeholders, while addressing concerns regarding productivity.
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