Reposted from Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter, a Regular Service of Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT). Originally published by http://www.health.gov.
Employer-Sponsored Workouts Boost Workers’ Health
Encouraging your workers to work out works! Home Depot employees who participated in a companysponsored program to support workers in setting exercise goals notably increased their levels of moderate or vigorous physical activity. For 3 months, 1,442 participants set weekly personal and team physical activity goals and reaped incentives for meeting them. After 6 weeks, slightly more than half of the participants did at least five 30-minute moderate exercise sessions or two 20-minute vigorous exercise sessions weekly—up from about 30% at the study’s start. Meanwhile, only 25% of those in a control group of nonparticipants logged similar exercise sessions.
Throughout the study, the participants maintained their increased levels of activity, and few people dropped out. “The biggest pleasant surprise was the steady and sustained progress. That can probably be explained by the social incentives and support from personal goals and achievements that had direct impact on team success,” says study lead author Rod Dishman. Key to the program’s success may have been the use of group and organizational goal-setting along with individual goals, because they provide vital peer encouragement, says Katherine Alaimo, a professor at the University of Georgia. “Personal and team goals work best when they are self-set, specific about how much activity and when, realistic but attainable and easily assessed, such as by weekly logs or pedometer steps,” says Dishman.