Latest research findings: Eight-month postprogram completion: Change in risk factors for chronic disease amongst participants in a 4-month pedometer-based workplace health program, AusPAnet

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Online: Latest research findings: Eight-month postprogram completion: Change in risk factors for chronic disease amongst participants in a 4-month pedometer-based workplace health program, AusPAnet, 9 July 2013

 

Source: Obesity, 2013, Early View.
Authors: Rosanne Freak-Poli, Rory Wolfe, Margaret Brand, Maximilian de Courten and Anna Peeters
Title: Eight-month postprogram completion: Change in risk factors for chronic disease amongst participants in a 4-month pedometer-based workplace health program
Commentary: Rona Macniven, Prevention Research Collaboration, University of Sydney
This study was an evaluation of the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), a pedometer-based physical activity workplace program where teams compete together to accumulate steps and other physical activities to simulate walking around the world over a four month period. This component of the evaluation examined whether initial health improvements achieved immediately after the program could be sustained eight months following program completion. Some promising longer-term effects were evidence, such as achievement of the physical activity guidelines by 50% of participants who had previously been inactive, indicating sustainable results of such a program.
The study took place in Melbourne where 762 Australian adults who were employed in mainly sedentary occupations across 10 workplaces completed a survey on demographic information like age, gender and education level and behavioral characteristics using the World Health Organization (WHO) STEPwise approach. They also had their blood pressure, cholesterol and height and weight measures taken at the start of the program and 4 and 12 months later, at which point, 76% of the initial participants remained in the study.
Despite initial favourable changes in physical activity and waist circumference at the end of the 4 month program, a year following the start of the program the percentage of participants achieving the physical activity recommendations of 30 minutes a day had only increased by 2.5% (44.8% compared to 42.2% at baseline), which was not statistically significant. However, the results indicated that the program was beneficial in changing behaviours of high risk individuals. For those not meeting physical activity recommendations at baseline, over half (31% of total sample) had significant improvements in physical activity and waist circumference at the 12 month follow-up. Sustained, significant improvements were found amongst participants overall for self-reported vegetable intake, self-reported sitting time and independently measured blood pressure.
Overall, this evaluation demonstrates some long term benefits from the GCC across a number of chronic disease risk factors. While it shows promise as a workplace health promotion program, it is limited in its reach to specific populations. The findings around physical activity, while not optimal for participants overall, are nonetheless encouraging as workplace health programs such as the GCC do not necessarily reach high risk individuals who would benefit the most.

Period9 Jul 2013

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  • TitleLatest research findings: Eight-month postprogram completion: Change in risk factors for chronic disease amongst participants in a 4-month pedometer-based workplace health program
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date9/07/13
    DescriptionOnline: Latest research findings: Eight-month postprogram completion: Change in risk factors for chronic disease amongst participants in a 4-month pedometer-based workplace health program, AusPAnet, 9 July 2013
    Producer/AuthorAusPAnet
    PersonsRosanne Freak-Poli