Incentivised physical activity intervention promoting daily steps among university employees in the workplace through a team-based competition

Safi, Ayazullah and Deb, Sanjoy and Kelly, Adam L. and Cole, Matthew and Walker, Natalie C. and Zariwala, Mohammed Gulrez (2024) Incentivised physical activity intervention promoting daily steps among university employees in the workplace through a team-based competition. Frontiers in Public Health, 11. ISSN 2296-2565

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Introduction: The benefits of walking on health and well-being is well established and regarded as the most accessible form of physical activity (PA) that most individuals can incorporate into their lives. Despite the benefits, the impact of a competitive walking intervention combined with a prize incentive in the workplace is yet to be established. The aim of this intervention was to promote PA among university employees through teams-based competition with a prize incentive targeted towards the recommended 10,000 steps per day.

Methods: A total of 49 employees participated and formed eight departmental teams ranging from Senior Admin management, Educational & Social work, Nursing & Midwifery, Sport & Exercise, Health Sciences, Admin Assistant, Library, and IT to compete in a walking intervention. Each team was handed an ActiGraph wGT3X-BT from Monday to Friday to record their walking steps. Steps. Post intervention participants completed an open-ended survey to provide their views about the intervention.

Results: The ActiGraph findings determined that steps increased by 4,799 per day from daily baseline of 5,959 to 10,758 throughout this intervention. The themes from qualitative data showed that the prize incentive and competitive nature of this intervention has motivated staff to walk more, changed their behaviour, enjoyed the team-based competition, and improved perceived productivity in the workplace.

Discussion and conclusion: This intervention increased employees’ daily steps by 4,799 and met the 10,000 steps guideline. The ‘Health Sciences’ team recorded the highest steps 531,342 followed by the ‘Education and Social Work’ accumulating 498,045 steps throughout this intervention. This intervention with prize incentive demonstrated a positive impact on employees personal and work-based outcomes as well as contributed to the workplace PA, health, and wellbeing literature, and more specifically, to the scarce research focused on university settings.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
6 December 2023Accepted
22 January 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: incentive in the workplace, prize, physical activity, employees health and wellbeing, team-based competition
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2024 14:10
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 14:10

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