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Anass Arrogi, Astrid Schotte, An Bogaerts, Filip Boen and Jan Seghers

Background: This study evaluated the effects of a 3-month workplace physical activity (PA) intervention on employees’ health-related fitness and well-being. Moreover, mediational pathways were examined. Methods: A longitudinal, quasi-experimental trial was evaluated in Belgian employees. The intervention group (IG: n = 246) received 3-months individualized, tailored PA counseling, consisting of face-to-face counseling and follow-up e-mail and telephone contacts. The reference group (n = 54) received no PA counseling. Outcome measures (assessed at baseline, 3 mo [short term], and 9 mo [long term]) included body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, well-being, and step-based PA. Results: With no changes in the reference group, the IG showed short-term improvements in body mass index (−0.24 kg/m2, P < .001), body fat (−0.88%, P < .001), waist circumference (−1.47 cm, P < .001), and muscle percentage (+0.47%, P < .001). Moreover, with respect to cardiorespiratory fitness, IG participants improved on perceived exertion, both in the short term (−0.91, P < .001) and long term (−0.83, P < .001). Furthermore, perceived physical well-being increased in the IG, both in the short term (+0.57, P < .001) and long term (+0.57, P < .001). The observed intervention effects on body composition, perceived exertion, and well-being were mediated by (increases in) step-based PA. Conclusions: Workplace PA counseling programs have the potential to enhance employees’ health-related fitness and well-being. Importantly, step-based PA behavior change was found to contribute to the postintervention improvements.

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Ann-Sophie Van Hoecke, Christophe Delecluse, An Bogaerts and Filip Boen

This study compared the long-term effectiveness of three physical activity counseling strategies among sedentary older adults: a 1-contact referral (REFER), a 1-contact individualized walking program (WALK), and multiple-contact, individually tailored, and need-supportive coaching based on the self-determination theory (COACH). Participants (n = 442) completed measurements before (pretest), immediately after (posttest), and 1 yr after (follow-up test) a 10-wk intervention. Linear mixed models demonstrated significant time-by-condition interaction effects from pre- to posttest. More specifically, WALK and COACH yielded larger increases in daily steps and self-reported physical activity than REFER. Similarly, self-reported physical activity increased more from pre- to follow-up test in WALK and COACH compared with REFER. Autonomous motivation mediated the effect of perceived need-support on physical activity, irrespective of counseling strategy. These results demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of both a 1-contact individualized walking program and a more time-consuming, need-supportive coaching, especially in comparison with a standard referral to local opportunities.

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Ann-Sophie Van Hoecke, Christophe Delecluse, An Bogaerts and Filip Boen


This study evaluated the long-term effectiveness of multiple physical activity counseling strategies on subjective health among older adults.


Sedentary older adults (n = 442) were randomized to 3 programs: (1) a one-contact referral to locally organized physical activities, (2) a one-contact provision of a walking program, (3) a 10-week multiple-contact physical activity coaching based on the Self-Determination Theory. Self-reports on well-being, trait anxiety and physical activity were completed at baseline (pretest), and 10 weeks after (10-week follow-up), 1 year after (1-year follow-up) and 2 years after (2-year follow-up) pretests.


All 3 programs yielded improvements in well-being and trait anxiety from pretest to 10-week follow-up and to 1-year follow-up. From pretest to 2-year follow-up, no changes emerged in well-being whereas trait anxiety increased significantly. Changes over time in well-being and anxiety were not significantly different between the programs. Changes in physical activity contributed significantly to the prediction of changes in well-being and trait anxiety.


The findings demonstrate the year-round effectiveness of physical activity counseling on subjective health among older adults, irrespective of counseling strategy. However, a relapse to baseline level occurred 2 years after the intervention. Physical activity appears to be an important determinant of older adults’ well-being.