Small Business Policies Toward Employee and Community Promotion of Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Basic information is needed to develop strategies for promoting physical activity (PA) in small business. This preliminary study described small business policies encouraging PA.

Methods:

Interviews were completed at 98 small businesses (5–100 employees) in 2003. Business policies encouraging PA participation by employees and the public were assessed. Stage of Change was used to describe intentions to develop such policies.

Results:

A total of 53 PA policies (12 employee; 41 public) existed. The most common employee policy was incentives for gym memberships (41.7%). The most popular public policy was sport team sponsorships (60.1%). Most businesses (60.2%) were not thinking about creating a policy for PA while 33.7% had a policy in place (20.4% > 6 months).

Conclusion:

Small businesses have few PA policies and most are not thinking about such policies. Research should determine why this is the case and what approaches could stimulate the development of PA policies.

Suminski and Hyder are with the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Dept of Physiology, Kansas City, MO 64106. Poston is with the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO 64110.

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