Physical Activity Alignment with National and Global Guidelines of Staff at a Private University in Southern California
Issues and Development in Health Research Vol. 3,
18 August 2021
Active lifestyles meeting or exceeding 150 minutes/week of PA are associated with risk reductions in multiple chronic health conditions. However, sedentary work-related environmental conditions are linked with a decline of physical activity (PA) in the United States and abroad. University staff may uniquely experience work-related challenges that could inhibit achievement of recommended daily levels of PA, yet few studies on this exist. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate self-report PA among employees at a private university and assess alignment with global and national goals for PA to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. METHODS: Eligible survey respondents (N = 253) were women (n = 173, 39.3 ± 13.4 years of age, 164.4 ± 8.1 cm in height, 69.7 ± 16.4 kg in weight, and 25.9 ± 6.6 kg/m2 body mass index [BMI] ) and men (n = 82, 41.5 ± 12.9 years of age, 178.33 ± 8.1 cm in height, 85.8 ± 14.4 kg in weight, and 27.03 ± 4.6 kg/m2 BMI of) employed as staff at Biola University. Participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), using the Survey Monkey® platform. Occupations were categorized by type (administration, staff, and facilities). Activity specific (leisure, household, occupational, and transport) weekly minutes and metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes per week were calculated and then summed to get grand total minutes of weekly PA and grand total MET minutes of PA per week. Total walking PA, moderate PA, and vigorous PA minutes per week and MET minutes per week were tabulated and analyzed. RESULTS: Men were significantly (P < .05) more physically active per week in total PA MET minutes per week, workplace PA in MET minutes per week, and minutes per week than women. A stepwise decrease between PA and increases in educational attainment was observed, yet was statistically insignificant. Facilities personnel were significantly (P < .05) more active than both administration and staff. Staff and administration had similar activity levels. The percentage of employees completing a total of at least 150 minutes of PA per week was 82.4% of the sample. CONCLUSION: A large majority of university employees exceeded the ACSM minimum weekly recommendations for PA. However, activity levels varied significantly between sex and job type.
- Physical activity