Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Genevieve Stone

Abstract

This study explored the application of Prochaska and DiClemente's (1982) transtheoretical model of behaviour change (TIM) to the area of physical activity adoption and maintenance within an organisational setting. One hundred and nine employees of the Bunbury Centrelink Call Centre participated in a six-week physical activity intervention modelled on the Take Charge Challenge (TCC) (Leonard, 2000). Based on the TIM, this program attempts to increase individual physical activity through organisational change in order to counterbalance the sedentary nature of roles undertaken by staff and to maximise physical and psychological health benefits for employees. Time (in minutes/ week) engaging in physical activity was measured at week one, three and six of the intervention, and compared with the physical activity levels of employees in the control group. In conjunction with the measurement of physical activity, stage of change profiles of the intervention and control groups were also contrasted at these three measurement points. Results of a Split-plot Analysis of Variance confirmed the hypothesis that the TCC would lead to increased physical activity for participating employees but would have a negligible effect on control participants. The study's second hypothesis, that an increase in physical activity for TCC participants would coincide with changes in their stage of change profiles, was also supported. Chi Square analyses revealed that by week six, TCC participants identified with later stages of the TIM, demonstrating significant forward movement within the model. In contrast, the dispersion of control participants within the TIM remained relatively stable, with no significant change in this profile occurring throughout the six-week period. The confirmation of these hypotheses suggests preliminary support for both the efficacy of workplace physical activity interventions for increasing employee physical activity participation, and the validity of the TIM in accounting for the behaviour change that occurs when individuals incorporate increased physical activity within their lifestyle. It is hoped that the success of this intervention, reflected by increased physical activity participation and forward stage of change movement for participating employees, will facilitate the inclusion of the TCC into the organisation's existing work culture. This will allow for greater sustainability of physical activity, thus providing relapse prevention strategies in the workplace.

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