Worksite physical activity policies and environments in relation to employee physical activity

Noe C. Crespo, James F. Sallis, Terry L. Conway, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Purpose. Examine associations between worksite physical activity promotion strategies and employees' physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Design. Cross-sectional. Setting. Seattle-King County, Washington and Baltimore, Maryland-Washington, D.C. regions. Subjects. Adults working outside the home (n = 1313). Mean age was 45 ± 10 years, 75.8% of participants were non-Hispanic white, 56% were male, and 51% had income ≥$70,000/year. Measures. Participants reported demographic characteristics and presence/absence of nine physical activity promotion environment and policy strategies in their work environment (e.g., showers, lockers, physical activity programs). A worksite physical activity promotion index was a tally of strategies. Total sedentary and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) min/d were objectively assessed via 7-day accelerometry. Total job-related physical activity minutes and recreational physical activity minutes were self-reported with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Analysis. Mixed-effects models and generalized estimating equations evaluated the association of the worksite promotion index with physical activity and sedentary behavior, adjusting for demographics. Results. A higher worksite promotion index was significantly associated with higher total sedentary behavior (β = 3.97), MVPA (β = 1.04), recreational physical activity (β = 1.1 and odds ratio = 1.39; away from work and at work, respectively) and negatively with job-related physical activity (β = .90). Conclusions. Multiple worksite physical activity promotion strategies based on environmental supports and policies may increase recreational physical activity and should be evaluated in controlled trials. These findings are particularly important given the increasingly sedentary nature of employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometer
  • Health Promotion
  • Physical Activity
  • Prevention Research
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Worksites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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