Active Living Strategy #15: Improve Worksite Built Environment to Support Physical Activity

Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.  More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.




Active Living Strategy #15: Improve Worksite Built Environment to Support Physical Activity

People are more likely to walk or bike to work when physical activity is encouraged. Improving the worksite built environment, combined with increased opportunities for physical activity, may lead to increased physical activity and overall health.

 

The impact of the worksite’s built environment (e.g., walking tracks, fitness facilities) varies across studies. A recent study found that people who reported more worksite support for engaging in physical activity were more likely to walk or bike to work once a week. In particular, women who perceived cultural and physical supports in the workplace were significantly more likely to walk or bike to work. Improving the worksite built environment, combined with increased opportunities for physical activity at the worksite, may lead to increased physical activity and potentially improved overall health.




References

  1. Anderson, L.M., Quinn, T.A., Glanz, K., Ramirez, G., Kahwati, L.C., Johnson, D.B., & Katz, D.L. (2009). The effectiveness of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions for controlling employee overweight and obesity: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37(4), 340–57.
  2. Emmons, K., Linnan, L., Shadel, W., Marcus, B., & Abrams, D. (1999). The Working Healthy Project: A worksite health-promotion trial targeting physical activity, diet, and smoking. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 41(7).
  3. Engbers, L.H., van Poppel, M., Chin, A., Paw, M., & van Mechelen, W. (2005). Worksite health promotion programs with environmental changes: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(1), 61–70.
  4. Kaczynski, A.T., Bopp, M.J., & Wittman, P. (2010). Association of workplace supports with active commuting. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 7(6).
  5. Pegus, C., Bazzarre, T., Brown, J., & Menzin, J. (2002). Effect of the Heart At Work Program on awareness of risk factors, self-efficacy and health behaviors. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 44(3).

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