181250 Environmental and Social Support of Physical Activity Influences at the Worksite

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michelle L. Darst, MS , Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
RenéE. Umstattd, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Stephanie Baller , Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Gina H. Blunt, PhD , Department of Health, Wellness and Human Performance, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY

Physical activity is a leading health indicator of Healthy People 2010, including aims to increase the proportion of adults who engage regularly in moderate physical activity (PA). Most Americans spend the majority of their time at work; therefore, a better understanding of physical and social environmental factors related to PA at the worksite is warranted.


The purpose of this study was to (1) determine available environmental and social support for PA engagement of employees of a higher education institution and (2) examine the relationship between these supports and self-reported PA engagement.


A cross-sectional study using an on-line questionnaire was conducted with employees of a higher education institution (n=203). Participants were 69% female, 87.2% white, and 77.3% had earned a bachelor's degree or higher.


Perceived physical and social environmental worksite factors related to PA were measured using the SEALS. PA engagement was measured using a self-administered 7-day PA Recall.


Bivariate analyses revealed a positive relationship between total minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA reported per week and having seen or known (1) coworkers engaging in PA at the worksite (p<.05), (2) information sources at the worksite that promoted or directed participation in PA (p<.05), and (3) information sources at the worksite that encouraged participation in fitness related events (p<.01).


Results indicate a lack of worksite support for PA and a need for future research examining relationships among PA and various forms of physical and social environmental influences at the worksite.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Discuss current worksite health promotion strategies targeting physical activity. 2. Describe the relationship between worksite health promotion strategies and physical activity. 3. Identify three worksite promotion strategies related to physical activity.

Keywords: Worksite, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: physical activity is an area of research interest that I have been focusing on as part of my doctoral studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.