Evaluation of an intervention to promote walking during the commute to work

a cluster randomised controlled trial

Suzanne Audrey , Harriet Fisher, Ashley Cooper, Daisy Gaunt , Kirsty Garfield, Chris Metcalfe, William Hollingworth, Fiona Gillison, Marie Gabe-Walters, Sarah Rodgers, Adrian L. Davis, Philip Insall, Sunita Procter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Opportunities for working adults to accumulate recommended physical activity levels (at least 150 min of moderate intensity physical activity in bouts of at least 10 min throughout the week) may include the commute to work. Systematic reviews of interventions to increase active transport suggest studies have tended to be of poor quality, relying on self-report and lacking robust statistical analyses. Methods: We conducted a multi-centre parallel-arm cluster randomised controlled trial, in workplaces in south-west England and south Wales, to assess the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention to increase walking during the commute. Workplace-based Walk to Work promoters were trained to implement a 10-week intervention incorporating key behavioural change techniques: providing information; encouraging intention formation; identifying barriers and solutions; goal setting; self-monitoring; providing general encouragement; identifying social support; reviewing goals, and; relapse prevention. Physical activity outcomes were objectively measured using accelerometers and GPS receivers at baseline and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Secondary outcomes included overall levels of physical activity and modal shift (from private car to walking). Cost-consequences analysis included employer, employee and health service costs and outcomes. Results: Six hundred fifty-four participants were recruited across 87 workplaces: 10 micro (5-9 employees); 35 small (10-49); 22 medium (50-250); 20 large (250+). The majority of participants lived more than two kilometres from their place of work (89%) and travelled to work by car (65%). At 12-month follow-up, 84 workplaces (41 intervention, 43 control) and 477 employees (73% of those originally recruited) took part in data collection activities. There was no evidence of an intervention effect on MVPA or overall physical activity at 12-month follow-up. The intervention cost on average £181.97 per workplace and £24.19 per participating employee. Conclusions: The intervention, focusing primarily on individual behaviour change, was insufficient to change travel behaviour. Our findings contribute to the argument that attention should be directed towards a whole systems approach, focusing on interactions between the correlates of travel behaviour. Trial registration: ISRCTN15009100. Prospectively registered. (Date assigned: 10/12/2014).

Original languageEnglish
Article number427
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Active travel
  • Behavioural intervention
  • Physical activity
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Walking
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Audrey , S., Fisher, H., Cooper, A., Gaunt , D., Garfield, K., Metcalfe, C., ... Procter, S. (2019). Evaluation of an intervention to promote walking during the commute to work: a cluster randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 19(1), [427]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6791-4

Evaluation of an intervention to promote walking during the commute to work : a cluster randomised controlled trial. / Audrey , Suzanne ; Fisher, Harriet ; Cooper, Ashley ; Gaunt , Daisy ; Garfield, Kirsty ; Metcalfe, Chris; Hollingworth, William ; Gillison, Fiona; Gabe-Walters, Marie; Rodgers, Sarah ; Davis, Adrian L. ; Insall, Philip ; Procter, Sunita .

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 1, 427, 24.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Audrey , S, Fisher, H, Cooper, A, Gaunt , D, Garfield, K, Metcalfe, C, Hollingworth, W, Gillison, F, Gabe-Walters, M, Rodgers, S, Davis, AL, Insall, P & Procter, S 2019, 'Evaluation of an intervention to promote walking during the commute to work: a cluster randomised controlled trial', BMC Public Health, vol. 19, no. 1, 427. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6791-4
Audrey , Suzanne ; Fisher, Harriet ; Cooper, Ashley ; Gaunt , Daisy ; Garfield, Kirsty ; Metcalfe, Chris ; Hollingworth, William ; Gillison, Fiona ; Gabe-Walters, Marie ; Rodgers, Sarah ; Davis, Adrian L. ; Insall, Philip ; Procter, Sunita . / Evaluation of an intervention to promote walking during the commute to work : a cluster randomised controlled trial. In: BMC Public Health. 2019 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
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abstract = "Background: Opportunities for working adults to accumulate recommended physical activity levels (at least 150 min of moderate intensity physical activity in bouts of at least 10 min throughout the week) may include the commute to work. Systematic reviews of interventions to increase active transport suggest studies have tended to be of poor quality, relying on self-report and lacking robust statistical analyses. Methods: We conducted a multi-centre parallel-arm cluster randomised controlled trial, in workplaces in south-west England and south Wales, to assess the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention to increase walking during the commute. Workplace-based Walk to Work promoters were trained to implement a 10-week intervention incorporating key behavioural change techniques: providing information; encouraging intention formation; identifying barriers and solutions; goal setting; self-monitoring; providing general encouragement; identifying social support; reviewing goals, and; relapse prevention. Physical activity outcomes were objectively measured using accelerometers and GPS receivers at baseline and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Secondary outcomes included overall levels of physical activity and modal shift (from private car to walking). Cost-consequences analysis included employer, employee and health service costs and outcomes. Results: Six hundred fifty-four participants were recruited across 87 workplaces: 10 micro (5-9 employees); 35 small (10-49); 22 medium (50-250); 20 large (250+). The majority of participants lived more than two kilometres from their place of work (89{\%}) and travelled to work by car (65{\%}). At 12-month follow-up, 84 workplaces (41 intervention, 43 control) and 477 employees (73{\%} of those originally recruited) took part in data collection activities. There was no evidence of an intervention effect on MVPA or overall physical activity at 12-month follow-up. The intervention cost on average £181.97 per workplace and £24.19 per participating employee. Conclusions: The intervention, focusing primarily on individual behaviour change, was insufficient to change travel behaviour. Our findings contribute to the argument that attention should be directed towards a whole systems approach, focusing on interactions between the correlates of travel behaviour. Trial registration: ISRCTN15009100. Prospectively registered. (Date assigned: 10/12/2014).",
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AU - Hollingworth, William

AU - Gillison, Fiona

AU - Gabe-Walters, Marie

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AU - Davis, Adrian L.

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N2 - Background: Opportunities for working adults to accumulate recommended physical activity levels (at least 150 min of moderate intensity physical activity in bouts of at least 10 min throughout the week) may include the commute to work. Systematic reviews of interventions to increase active transport suggest studies have tended to be of poor quality, relying on self-report and lacking robust statistical analyses. Methods: We conducted a multi-centre parallel-arm cluster randomised controlled trial, in workplaces in south-west England and south Wales, to assess the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention to increase walking during the commute. Workplace-based Walk to Work promoters were trained to implement a 10-week intervention incorporating key behavioural change techniques: providing information; encouraging intention formation; identifying barriers and solutions; goal setting; self-monitoring; providing general encouragement; identifying social support; reviewing goals, and; relapse prevention. Physical activity outcomes were objectively measured using accelerometers and GPS receivers at baseline and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Secondary outcomes included overall levels of physical activity and modal shift (from private car to walking). Cost-consequences analysis included employer, employee and health service costs and outcomes. Results: Six hundred fifty-four participants were recruited across 87 workplaces: 10 micro (5-9 employees); 35 small (10-49); 22 medium (50-250); 20 large (250+). The majority of participants lived more than two kilometres from their place of work (89%) and travelled to work by car (65%). At 12-month follow-up, 84 workplaces (41 intervention, 43 control) and 477 employees (73% of those originally recruited) took part in data collection activities. There was no evidence of an intervention effect on MVPA or overall physical activity at 12-month follow-up. The intervention cost on average £181.97 per workplace and £24.19 per participating employee. Conclusions: The intervention, focusing primarily on individual behaviour change, was insufficient to change travel behaviour. Our findings contribute to the argument that attention should be directed towards a whole systems approach, focusing on interactions between the correlates of travel behaviour. Trial registration: ISRCTN15009100. Prospectively registered. (Date assigned: 10/12/2014).

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