A Randomized Prospective Trial of a Worksite Intervention Program to Increase Physical Activity

Gazmararian, Julie A.; Elon, Lisa; Newsome, Kimberly; Schild, Laura; Jacobson, Kara L.
September 2013
American Journal of Health Promotion;Sep/Oct2013, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p32
Academic Journal
Purpose. To evaluate the effectiveness of addressing multiple barriers to physical activity (PA) using interventions at the workplace. Design. The Physical Activity and Lifestyle Study used a randomized controlled trial in which 60 university departments were randomized into five groups. Setting. Large Southeastern university Subjects. Physically inactive nonfaculty employees in the participating departments (n = 410) were interviewed five times over 9 months, with 82% completing all surveys. Intervention. Departments were randomly assigned to (1) control, (2) gym membership, (3) gym + PA education, (4) gym + time during the workday, and (5) gym + education + time. Measures. PA intensity and quantity were measured using the 7-day Physical Activity Recall instrument, with PA then classified as the number of days meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Analysis. The outcome was modeled with generalized linear mixed model methodology. Results. There was no significant improvement when a group received gym alone compared to the control (Rate Ratio [RR]) 1.22 [.90, 1.67]). However, gym + education, gym + time, and gym + education + time were significantly better than the control (RR 1.51 [1.15, 1.98], RR 1.46 [1.13, 1.88], RR 1.28 [1.01, 1.62]), with improvements sustained over the 9 months. Conclusion. Among sedentary adults who had access to indoor exercise facilities, addressing environmental and cognitive barriers simultaneously (i.e., time and education) did not encourage more activity than addressing either barrier alone.


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