Staff walking and pedometer project
Jobs in modern workplaces are often sedentary which means we spend a lot of time sitting down. To address this problem within SSWAHS, we encourage our employees to be more active during the work day. This 'incidental activity' makes it easier for people to live a more physically active life which is essential for good health.
The staff walking and pedometer project was conducted to see whether participants would walk more with the support of pedometers and guidebooks.
What we are doing
We set up control and intervention groups, with the latter group regularly receiving newsletters from us to help them deal with the barriers to walking, such as lack of time, poor neighbourhood design and limited social support.
Partners and funding
Of the original 332 participants who enrolled in the study, 205 were able to be contacted at 12 months, giving a 62% response rate. In the analysis, we looked at observed changes in those people we have complete data for. We used conservative intention to treat principles where we assumed those people we were not able to contact had not changed their physical activity at 12 months.
Overall, there were increases in physical activity in both groups at follow-up. There were no differences between the groups in walking (sessions or minutes), but there were greater increases in the intervention group in minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity completed per week and all physical activity minutes per week. Using appropriate statistical analyses, we did not find a significant effect, suggesting that there was no overall difference between groups.
Those who were still wearing the pedometer close to the time of the follow-up interview (within the month), and thought the pedometer was highly useful, were more likely to meet the public health recommendations for weekly minutes of physical activity.
In conclusion, the pedometers and guidebooks proved to increase physical activity for all participants. However, additional strategies to help people maintain physical activities levels should be explored.