Activity interventions can improve health, absence rates and stress
Meta-analysis of workplace physical activity interventions. Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Cooper PS, Brown LM, Lusk SL. Am J Prev Med. 2009. 37(4): 330-339.
To perform a comprehensive review of workplace activity interventions and their effects on employee health & well-being, activity, and absence levels.
Global studies on workplace activity programs, dating from 1969 through to 2007. Data from 38,231 study participants were included in the analysis.
A comprehensive search of workplace activity interventions was conducted using established research databases, followed by further searches to find relevant unpublished primary studies. Unpublished studies were included to reduce publishing bias (when positive results are more likely to be published).
- Fitness outcomes were significantly better in employees who were involved in activity programs. For one measure, the average VO2 max was 37.7 mL/kg/min compared to an average of 34.2 mL/kg/min for those who didn't take part in activity programs.
- Diabetes risk was significantly reduced by interventions. Average blood sugar levels (post-intervention fasting glucose) were 81.0 mg/dL for employees in activity programs compared to 93.6 mg/dL in those who didn't.
- Employees who took part in activity programs had lower absenteeism, and job stress. Job satisfaction was also reported as higher in those who had taken part in an activity program.
What does this mean?
Workplace interventions to increase activity can improve fitness and job satisfaction, reduce risk factors for long-term health conditions, and reduce absenteeism and job stress.