Online Program

Examination of the relationship between workplace policies and active travel for men and women

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Melissa Bopp, PhD, Dept. of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Dangaia Sims, MA, Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Active travel (AT) to the workplace is a potential strategy for improving physical activity participation and is associated with many health benefits, though rates of AT remain low. Workplace policies can be supportive of AT, though the impact on participation is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the influences of workplace policies on AT for men and women.

Methods: Participants in the study were a volunteer convenience sample of employed men (n=327) women (n=706) working outside the home.  Participants responded to an online survey regarding: number of times/week walking and biking to work (dichotomized as no AT and AT 1+x/week), demographics and workplace policies (employer offers incentives for AT, has promotions/events for AT, flexible work hours and dress code, offers bike parking, availability of lockers/changing rooms, and has policies related to bike storage). Logistic regression was used to examine the likelihood of AT considering these workplace policies.

Results: For men 34.3% (n=112) reported AT 1+/week. Having flexible work hours (OR=2.74), bicycle parking available (OR=2.00), polices related to bike storage (OR=2.84) and a flexible dress code (OR=2.61) were associated with being an active traveler. Among women, 16.6% (n=117) reported AT 1+/week. Having incentives (OR=2.62) and promotions/events for AT (OR=1.73), flexible hours (OR=4.56) and dress code (OR=2.93), available bike parking (OR=2.19), and bike storage policies (OR=1.82) was associated with AT.

Discussion: These results indicate that workplace policies are related to AT for both men and women. Future intervention strategies should include gender-tailored approaches impacting workplace policy.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
List the benefits of active travel Identify workplace policies that may impact active travel Describe how workplace policies was related to active travel in the current study

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Transportation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceptualized the study, oversaw the data collection, completed the analyses and wrote the abstract.
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.