Does a corporate worksite physical activity program reach those who are inactive? Findings from an evaluation of the Global Corporate Challenge
Workplace physical activity programs can motivate inactive target groups to increase daily activity levels, but it is important to determine their reach and impact.
The Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) is a team‐based program promoting pedometer‐based self‐monitoring to reach 10 000 steps per day. Participants (n = 587) from an Australian university were recruited and recorded their daily step counts. Demographic, anthropometric, behavioural, self‐reported physical activity and sitting time data were collected at baseline and following the 16‐week program.
On average, participants self‐estimated 11 638 daily steps in Week 1, increasing to measured estimates of 13 787 daily steps in Week 16 (P < 0.001). At baseline, 92% of survey completers were already meeting the physical activity recommendations, increasing to 98% (P = 0.059) at follow‐up. Four month improvements in objectively assessed anthropometric measures showed small, non‐significant reductions in weight (−0.12 kg; P = 0.416), body mass index (−0.06 kg/m2; P = 0.314) and waist circumference (−0.43 cm; P = 0.082). Sitting time during work decreased significantly by 21 min per day (P < 0.001) and participants with initially low levels of sitting time at work were more likely to increase their step counts during the GCC (adjusted odds ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.03–3.50).
Although this pedometer‐based program resulted in increases in physical activity and reductions in occupational sedentary behaviour, most participants were already meeting physical activity recommendations at baseline.