Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

E-mail delivery of workplace wellness programming has become an increasingly popular, cost-effective, and efficient means of disseminating information. In light of that trend, this study compared the effect of face-to-face interventions and email interventions on fitness, quality of life, and maintenance of an exercise program. Twenty previously sedentary employees, age 49 +/- 6.8 years, at Messiah College participated in a 10-week progressive walking program. Prior to the intervention, all subjects performed the Rockport Walk Test and a constant-speed treadmill test, filled out the WHOQOL-BREF, and had their resting blood pressure recorded. Participants were asked to walk four days per week, at a moderate intensity, with duration progressing from 20 to 45 minutes, and report to the researcher via weekly workout logs. Weekly motivational information and walking prescriptions were delivered to 11 of the 20 participants via e-mail. The other 9 met with the researcher and several other subjects for one walk per week, during which the researcher verbally delivered the same messages. All testing measures were repeated at the end of the 10-week program. All participants showed significant (p<0.05) improvement on Rockport time, and the general, physical, psychological, and environmental health measures of the WHOQOL-BREF. There were no significant differences between groups in any measure. However, a 3-month follow-up survey indicated that individuals in the face-to-face group maintained a significantly greater level of exercise after the walking program than the e-mail group. Researchers concluded that technology based and face-to-face interventions are equally effective in improving fitness and quality of life during a 10-week employee-based walking program, but face-to-face interventions may be more effective in promoting long-term exercise adherence.

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