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Workplace physical activity interventions: a systematic review

Dugdill, L, Brettle, A, Hulme, C, McCluskey, S and Long, AF (2008) Workplace physical activity interventions: a systematic review. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 1 (1). pp. 20-40. ISSN 1753-8351

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Purpose: This paper reports a synopsis of a recent systematic review of the literature regarding the effectiveness of workplace physical activity interventions, commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), UK (Dugdill et al., 2007).

Methods: A search for English-language papers published between 1996-2007 was conducted using 12 relevant databases and associated grey literature. Search protocols and analysis regarding study quality as recommended by NICE were utilised (NICE, 2006). Key inclusion criteria were 1) workplace intervention aiming to increase physical activity, 2) intervention aimed at working adults, 3) intervention initiated/endorsed by the employer, 4) physical activity outcome. Thirty three studies (38 papers) met the inclusion criteria and were independently reviewed (checked by 2 reviewers) with a narrative synthesis of findings.

Findings: Fourteen studies were graded as ++ (high quality) or + (good quality). Evidence from previous systematic reviews was inconclusive. Data regarding the effectiveness of stair walking interventions was limited and intervention effects were short-lived. Three public sector studies provided evidence that workplace walking interventions using pedometers can increase daily step counts. One good quality study reported a positive intervention effect on walking to work behaviour (active travel) in economically advantaged female employees. There was strong evidence that workplace counselling influenced physical activity behaviour. There is a dearth of evidence for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Limitations: Due to the necessary UK focus and time constraints, only studies from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were included.

Implications: There is a growing evidence base that workplace physical activity interventions can positively influence physical activity behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This is an author produced version of a paper published in International Journal of Workplace Health Management. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Workplace, physical activity, interventions, effectiveness, systematic review
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Medicine (Leeds) > Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (Leeds) > Academic Unit of Health Economics (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs JM Wright
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2008 18:11
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 17:55
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17538350810865578
Status: Published
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1108/17538350810865578
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3578

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