Effectiveness of Face-to-Face Versus Telephone Support in Increasing Physical Activity and Mental Health Among University Employees

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Follow-up support increases the effectiveness of physical activity interventions. This study evaluates the effectiveness of 2 support modes on physical activity and mental health.

Methods:

University employees were randomly assigned to a coaching program with 4 face-to-face (N = 33) or telephone-based (N = 33) support contacts. Both programs included an initial face-to-face intake session and an informational brochure. Physical activity, trait anxiety, self-efficacy, and social support were measured by self-report before and after the interventions that lasted 3 months.

Results:

Both groups increased leisure-time physical activity, self-efficacy, and social support and decreased sitting time and trait anxiety. The only significant time by group interaction was found for active transportation. More specifically, participants in the face-to-face group reported a significant increase in their active transportation from pretest to posttest, whereas participants in the telephone group reported no significant change.

Conclusions:

Both face-to-face support and telephone support proved to be effective in increasing the physical activity level and mental health of university employees.

The authors are with the Dept of Human Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Leuven, Belgium.

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