This quasi-experimental study assessed the effects of new workplace showers on physical activity behaviors in a sample of downtown employees in Austin, TX.
The study design was quasi-experimental with 2 comparison groups. Data were collected via internet-based surveys before and 4 months after shower installation at 1 worksite. Differences across study groups in the ranks of change in past-week minutes of physical activity from baseline to follow-up were assessed. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for reporting an increase of ≥10 min past-week physical activity and workday physical activity among those with new showers and existing showers relative to those with no showers were also assessed.
No significant differences in changes in physical activity from baseline to follow-up across study groups were found. One-quarter of participants with new workplace showers and 46.9% of those with existing workplace showers at baseline reported ever using the showers.
This prospective study did not find significant changes in employee physical activity 4 months after installation of worksite showers. Worksite shower users were highly active at baseline, suggesting a possible early adopter effect, with potential for diffusion. Future studies may benefit from longer exposure times and larger samples.