Can Activity-Based Working spaces increase workers' physical activity, perceived productivity and satisfaction?
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A lot of effort has been devoted recently to investigating if a new breed of ‘active design’, where occupants are no longer develop their activities at a single fixed-location, can actually help increasing physical activity. This trend in workspace design is known as Activity-Based Working. Despite all the best efforts made this far when trying to understand positive and negative aspects of different workspace layouts on occupants’ physical activity, a knowledge gap remains when it comes to detailed investigations focusing on ABW settings. This is particularly true in Australia where the uptake of ABW has plumped in recent years. This paper presents results from a case study, aimed quantifying workers’ physical activity before and after relocation from a contemporary open plan office to an ABW setting. This paper also discusses occupants’ perceived productivity and overall satisfaction before and after relocation. A total of 89 volunteers participated on the occupancy survey and 20 during the physical activity monitoring. Wearable devices were used to monitor step count and physical activity for two weeks during the pre-evaluation (contemporary open plan office) and post-evaluation survey (ABW). After moving to an ABW layout occupants were slightly more active than before, walking 0.2km more on average daily. A significant reduction of 6% in sedentary time was also observed with an increase of 20% on active time. Post-occupancy results also indicated a significant increase on perceived productivity and consistent improvements on occupants’ satisfaction on all IEQ variables. These preliminary results suggest that active workspace design may have a positive impact on workers’ physical activity, perceived productivity and satisfaction and should therefore be more investigated.
Proceedings of 33rd PLEA International Conference: Design to Thrive
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