Maintaining momentum: The challenge of a workplace physical activity program to sustain motivation and activity
Journal of Research for Consumers
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management
Physical inactivity is one of the major contributors to ill health and, hence, productivity costs in Australia. While the workplace is increasingly recognised as an appropriate site for promoting healthy behaviour, the effectiveness of workplace physical activity programs remains to be demonstrated, particularly with regards to participants' motivation to achieve sustained positive physical activity behaviour change. This exploratory study examined how participation in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) affected participants' motivation to sustain regular physical activity. The GCC is a commercially operated four-month program based on the 10,000 steps-a-day concept. Three distinct phases in terms of participant motivation were identified over the duration of the challenge: (1) raising self-awareness of low activity level and strategy development to increase physical activity; (2) implementation of strategies and increasing of activity levels; and (3) maintaining a healthy activity level. While initial motivation was high, resulting in positive physical activity behaviour changes in the short term, findings highlight the difficulty in achieving sustained positive physical activity behaviour, particularly with sedentary participants.