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  • Author: Cheryl Valko x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Amy A. Eyler, Aaron Hipp, Cheryl Ann Valko, Ramya Ramadas and Marissa Zwald

Background: Workplace design can impact workday physical activity (PA) and sedentary time. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PA behavior among university employees before and after moving into a new building. Methods: A pre–post, experimental versus control group study design was used. PA data were collected using surveys and accelerometers from university faculty and staff. Accelerometry was used to compare those moving into the new building (MOVERS) and those remaining in existing buildings (NONMOVERS) and from a control group (CONTROLS). Results: Survey results showed increased self-reported PA for MOVERS and NONMOVERS. All 3 groups significantly increased in objectively collected daily energy expenditure and steps per day. The greatest steps per day increase was in CONTROLS (29.8%) compared with MOVERS (27.5%) and NONMOVERS (15.9%), but there were no significant differences between groups at pretest or posttest. Conclusions: Self-reported and objectively measured PA increased from pretest to posttest in all groups; thus, the increase cannot be attributed to the new building. Confounding factors may include contamination bias due to proximity of control site to experimental site and introduction of a university PA tracking contest during postdata collection. Methodology and results can inform future studies on best design practices for increasing PA.

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Jeanette Gustat, Christopher E. Anderson, Keelia O’Malley, Tian Hu, Rachel G. Tabak, Karin Valentine Goins, Cheryl Valko, Jill S. Litt and Amy A. Eyler

Background: To assess how perceptions of the community built environment influence support for community policies that promote physical activity (PA). Methods: A national cross-sectional survey assessed perceptions of the local built environment and support of community policies, including school and workplace policies, promoting PA. A random digit–dialed telephone survey was conducted in US counties selected on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for high or low prevalence of obesity and inactivity. A total of 1208 subjects were interviewed, 642 from high-prevalence counties and 566 from low-prevalence counties. Analyses were stratified by county prevalence of obesity and inactivity (high or low). Linear models adjusted for covariates were constructed to assess the influence of built environment perceptions on policy support. Results: Perception of more destinations near the residence was associated with increased support for community policies that promote PA, including tax increases in low-prevalence (obesity and inactivity) counties (P < .01). Positive perception of the workplace environment was associated (P < .001) with increased support for workplace policies among those in high-, but not low-, prevalence counties. Conclusions: Support for community policies promoting PA varies by perception of the built environment, which has implications for policy change.