A Group Intervention to Improve Physical Activity at the Workplace
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We present an exploratory field study to investigate the acceptability of a group intervention to promote physical activity. To this end, a five-week group coaching program was developed, as well as the technological infrastructure to deliver this program. People participated in teams, consisting of hospital staff working together in a ward or department. Two teams of nurses and one team of facility support staff participated in the study. The program contained two consecutive team challenges; aimed at increasing daily step count and daily stairs taken. Participants wore a FitBit One activity tracker to measure steps and stairs. Personal information was delivered via a smart phone app, while aggregated team information was shown on a large screen placed in a common room at the ward. At the end of the study, group interviews were held to elicit feedback on the acceptability of the concept and experience of the coaching program. Participants were enthusiastic about the concept. They indicated that the group coaching caused bonding and improved team cohesion. There was a clear need to communicate within the team (now solved through WhatsApp groups). Furthermore, they would have liked an element of competition between teams. Overall, the results were positive, leading to the conclusion that team coaching at the workplace is a promising strategy to promote physical activity.
KeywordsGroup coaching Physical activity Workplace intervention Digital intervention Field study Qualitative research
This study was executed in the context of the EIT Digital project ProVITA (Prolonging Vitality and Wellness at the Workplace). We thank Ernst Hermens for managing this project. Furthermore, we thank Rik Bootsman, Frank Stokes, Hwang Kim, Abdul Nabi, Stijn Kooij, Jelte Bijkerk, Roberto Gamboni, Harijs Deksnis and Sandeep Kumar Pamujula for their contribution to the visual design and development of the Active Team app and Active Team screen. Finally, we thank the management and staff of the Royal Free Hospital London for enabling us to execute the study there.
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