Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with a reduced risk for chronic health conditions and improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Efforts to increase PA have included workplace health promotion. Currently, little is known about the effect of these programs on overall HRQoL.
To evaluate whether participation in a pedometer-based PA program in the workplace was associated with changes in HRQoL.
487 voluntary employees enrolled in a health program completed the SF-12 Health Survey at baseline and 4 months. Change in Physical and Mental component summary scores (PCS; MCS) was assessed with multivariable regression analysis, adjusting for covariates.
Participation in the program was associated with an increase of 1.5 MCS units (95% CI: 0.76, −2.09). Greater improvements in MCS were observed in those reporting an increased level of PA during the program [1.9 (CI: 0.78, 2.92) versus 0.9 (CI: −0.12, 2.03)] and a lower baseline MCS score [6.3 (CI: 4.80, 7.62) versus −1.5 (CI: −2.21, −0.80)]. No change in PCS was observed.
Participation in this workplace PA program was associated with improvements in the mental component of HRQoL. We recommend the use of a broad perspective of health be used in both the implementation and evaluation of workplace PA programs.
The authors are with the Dept of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Both authors, Harding and Freak-Poli, contributed equally to this work.