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UGA researchers receive $1.3 million CDC grant to study workplace physical activity intervention

Workers may be taking more exercise breaks than snack breaks in the future if a team of University of Georgia exercise and health researchers finds that workplace fitness programs are just what the doctor ordered.

Despite evidence that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers, only a third of adults in the United States regularly participate in recommended levels of either moderate or vigorous physical activity.

In an effort to increase the physical activity level of the general population, federal health officials have identified workplaces as important settings for fitness programs. However the effectiveness of such programs has yet to be determined by sound research.

The UGA team, led by Rod Dishman, a professor of exercise science in UGA's College of Education, has received a $1.3 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week physical activity program in a three-year study involving 1,600 male and female employees in 16 worksites of The Home Depot, Inc., across the United States and Canada.

Co-principal investigators in the project, titled "WAGES: Workplace Activity by Employee Goal Setting," include UGA colleagues David DeJoy, professor, and Mark Wilson, associate professor, both in health promotion and behavior, and Bob Vandenberg, a professor of management. DeJoy and Wilson founded The Workplace Health Group, a multidisciplinary research group that studies workplace health and organizational effectiveness.

A sedentary lifestyle contributes directly to an estimated 200,000 deaths annually from coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. The combined effect of physical inactivity and poor diet accounts for more than 300,000 deaths each year and is a key contributor to the 50 percent increase in obesity among U.S. adults during the past decade
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Contact: Kim Carlyle
kcarlyle@uga.edu
706-583-0913
University of Georgia
25-Oct-2004


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