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Walk this way to better health: Worksite walking program

Janis McWayne, PhD, MPH, CHES, School of Education, Francis Marion University, Box 100547, Florence, SC 29501, (843) 661-1467, jmcwayne@fmarion.edu, Peter King, PhD, Department of Biology, Francis Marion University, Box 100547, Florence, SC 29501, and Bobby Shaw, MS, CSCS, McLeod Health and Fitness Center, 2437 Willwood Drive, Florence, SC 29501.

The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of a walking program aimed at better health and increasing awareness of daily physical activity. Behavioral strategies used in this program were self-checks, goal setting for behavioral changes, and self-monitoring. The program ran for 12 weeks and incentives, in the form of educational sessions and motivational e-mail, were provided. The participants were 150 employees from a small southern university, 67% were European American and 28% African American; 36% were overweight, and 31% obese. Participants selected weight control (44%) and prevention efforts (25%) as their primary health concerns. Baseline measurements were weight and height for BMI, blood pressure, and resting heart rate. Participants completed questionnaires about their perceptions of personal physical activity and demographics. They received a pedometer, monitoring log, educational pamphlets, and instructions for the protocol of the study. Next, they monitored and recorded their steps for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures were changes in perception, weight, and BMI at the end of the intervention period. Generally, participants were unaware of their daily physical activity and through goal-setting and the pedometer log, educational sessions and motivational e-mail participants learned to incorporate physical activity into their workday. The intervention appeared to prompt and motivate participants to practice improved physical activity behavior.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives

Keywords: Worksite, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am an employee of Francis Marion University. Funding for this project was provided by the Francis Marion University Professional Development Committee

Worksite Health Promotion

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA