Implementation of a workplace intervention using financial rewards to promote adherence to physical activity guidelines: A feasibility study

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Abstract

Background: We designed and implemented the Brigham and Women's Wellness Initiative (B-Well), a single-arm study to examine the feasibility of a workplace program that used individual and team-based financial incentives to increase physical activity among sedentary hospital employees. Methods: We enrolled sedentary, non-clinician employees of a tertiary medical center who self-reported low physical activity. Eligible participants formed or joined teams of three members and wore Fitbit Flex activity monitors for two pre-intervention weeks followed by 24 weeks during which they could earn monetary rewards. Participants were rewarded for increasing their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by 10% from the previous week or for meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) physical activity guidelines (150 min of MVPA per week). Our primary outcome was the proportion of participants meeting weekly MVPA goals and CDC physical activity guidelines. Secondary outcomes included Fitbit-wear adherence and factors associated with meeting CDC guidelines more consistently. Results: B-Well included 292 hospital employees. Participants had a mean age of 38 years (SD 11), 83% were female, 38% were obese, and 62% were non-Hispanic White. Sixty-three percent of participants wore the Fitbit ≥4 days per week for ≥20 weeks. Two-thirds were satisfied with the B-Well program, with 79% indicating that they would participate again. Eighty-six percent met either their personal weekly goal or CDC physical activity guidelines for at least 6 out of 24 weeks, and 52% met their goals or CDC physical activity guidelines for at least 12 weeks. African Americans, non-obese subjects, and those with lower impulsivity scores reached CDC guidelines more consistently. Conclusions: Our data suggest that a financial incentives-based workplace wellness program can increase MVPA among sedentary employees. These results should be reproduced in a randomized controlled trial. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02850094. Registered July 27, 2016 [retrospectively registered].

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APA

Losina, E., Smith, S. R., Usiskin, I. M., Klara, K. M., Michl, G. L., Deshpande, B. R., … Katz, J. N. (2017). Implementation of a workplace intervention using financial rewards to promote adherence to physical activity guidelines: A feasibility study. BMC Public Health, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4931-2

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